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Coffee House

Don’t mention the war: Iraq absent from PMQs

11 June 2014

1:44 PM

11 June 2014

1:44 PM

If PMQs today was anything to go by, everything is so hunky-dory in Iraq that MPs needn’t discuss it at all. No-one raised it.

Afterwards, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman was repeatedly asked whether the UK would provide assistance. He said the government’s message focuses on the ‘Iraqi government working with partners in the region, for example the Kurdistan regional government’. Asked to rule out providing military assistance to the country, the spokesman said ‘that’s not on the table’.

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At the same time, the Prime Minister was finally being asked about Iraq in the Commons as he addressed MPs on the G7 talks. He said:-

‘What we have to deal now is with the situation today, where we’ve got an extremely serious situation in Mosul. I agree with the United States that the threat posed by ISIL in Iraq and the region needs a strong and co-ordinated response. It needs Prime Minister Maliki to pursue inclusive policies that can unite his country but it will also require a security response from the Iraqis and at the same time as a generous country that supports humanitarian aid, we should look at what we can do for those people who are displaced.’

He then added that these problems would ‘come back to bite us’ if the international community failed to address them when asked by Mike Gapes about the threat in Syria and in Iraq.

So that’s what he thinks about Iraq. But it’s odd that no MP thought to ask him that at the session dedicated to grilling the Prime Minister that almost everyone attends and that is far better followed than statements to the Commons.

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