Saturday, 28 November 2015

Ken Livingstone: Blair ignored security services about possible attacks

Ken Livingstone, former London Mayor, openly said that Tony Blair had ignored warnings from the security services in the early 2000s, about the possibility of terrorist attacks, following the UK's intervention in Iraq. In a dramatic debate on BBC One's "Question Time" programme last night, Mr Livingstone said when Mr Blair, as Prime Minister, had failed to take the threat of a terrorist attack on British soil into consideration.

Mr Livingstone declared on the programme that "If we had not invaded Iraq, those four men would not have gone out and killed 52 Londoners. We know that". Mr Livingstone's comments drew some applause from the audience, but fellow panellist Matt Forde. Forde, a former Blair-era political adviser turned comedian, was not pleased. He responded, branding Mr Livingstone's comments "shameful".

The Labour Party is facing an internal battle, over whether to support government proposals to launch strikes against ISIL in Syria. There has been much confusion over what course of action Labour MPs will be expected to take. Whispers of a possible "whipped vote" were swirling around, a matter of days ago. Under this scenario, Labour MPs would be instructed to vote in line with the party leader by the Whips, or risk deselection.

However, John McDonnell entered into the fray, saying he believed Labour MPs should have a free vote on the issue. Diane Abbott, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, urged Labour MPs to go home for the weekend, and consider their decisions carefully. It is understood Labour MPs will return to work on Monday, and speak again on the matter, before the upcoming Parlimentary vote.

Things are beginning to get heated, with suggestions of resignations from the Shadow Cabinet, and some backbench MPs going as far as calling on Mr Corbyn to resign as Labour leader. To compound the headache for the party's leadership, there is a risk that a by-election in Oldham could hang in the balance, in a seat that Labour would have once considered a safe seat.

No comments:

Post a Comment