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Last Updated: Monday, 16 April 2007, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Morgan 'probably' opposed to war
Rhodri Morgan on Question Time
Mr Morgan said he did not have to vote on the invasion of Iraq
Welsh Labour leader Rhodri Morgan has admitted he "probably" would have voted against going to war in Iraq had he been an MP at the time.

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales, Mr Morgan said he probably would have opposed the war without a second UN resolution.

However during a phone-in, the one time Cardiff West MP, conceded such decisions were "knife-edge decisions."

Plaid Cymru accused him of sitting on the fence and called for his "definitive position on the war".

Mr Morgan who has been assembly first minister for the past seven years said he understood the difficulties his wife Julie Morgan, MP for Cardiff North, went through before deciding to oppose the war.

"I know the agonies that my wife, Julie, went through. She voted against. Kevin Brennan, my successor, he voted against," he said.

'Difficult position'

"And again, probably, I would have as well without the second UN resolution.

"But I don't know because I wasn't there and I know just how difficult these decisions are," he added.

In February 2006 Mr Morgan repeatedly fended off questions about his views on the Iraq war during a debate on the BBC Question Time programme, held in Aberystwyth.

He was asked for his opinion by a member of the audience, but said he did not have a view because he was not a member of parliament when MPs voted.

Mr Morgan made a visit to Welsh troops in south-east Iraq in March 2005.

Rhodri Morgan in Iraq
Mr Morgan visited troops in Iraq in March 2005

During the phone-in on Monday, he also said the exit strategy for British troops in Iraq "was not planned".

"It has really been disastrously badly executed, whatever the exit strategy was.

"And it does leave the troops in a very difficult position because, at least where the British troops were in Basra, they had quite a warm welcome, but that warm welcome has gradually turned to dust in our faces and we are in a very difficult position now."

Responding to Mr Morgan's admission he probably would have voted against the war a Liberal Democrat spokesperson said: "Thank goodness Rhodri has made his mind up after four years.

"Let's hope there are no difficult decisions to take in the next assembly, otherwise the assembly will have broken up before he decides."

Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "It's vitally important that we know where Rhodri stands on the issue of Iraq.

"Simply saying that he might have voted one way or another is not good enough.

"He should clarify whether he does or does not support the war."

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Nick Bourne, said: "We are delighted that 14 months after he was first asked the question, Rhodri Morgan has finally given his opinion on whether or not he supports the war in Iraq - even if that answer was somewhat vague.

"Rhodri Morgan has had an opinion on practically every other subject going, but when asked about Iraq he has been surprisingly circumspect."




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"It's a very difficult question to answer."



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