New Party Adds to Blair's Iraq Woes

Families of British soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan announced Saturday, August 5, they were to form a political party aimed at unseating Blair and his ministers, a leading British newspaper reported.

New Party Adds to Blair's Iraq Woes

Families of British soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan announced Saturday, August 5, they were to form a political party aimed at unseating Prime Minister Tony Blair and his ministers, a leading British newspaper reported.

Spectre — named with the intention of haunting government members — plans to field candidates at every by-election and upwards of 70 seats at the next general election, due in May 2010 at the latest, The Guardian reported.

The families hope to pull enough votes away from ministers in Blair's governing Labour Party to alter the political status quo.

Details of the party were revealed by Reg Keys, whose son was killed in Iraq. He stood against Blair in the prime minister's constituency at the May 2005 general election and took 10 percent of the vote.

"We all feel we've been lied to, ignored and, frankly, insulted," Keys told the paper.

"But now it's different. Now we're going to make ministers pay with their seats."

Among the ministers they feel may be most vulnerable are former foreign secretary Jack Straw, his successor Margaret Beckett, and communities secretary Ruth Kelly, all of whom are without large majorities.

The bereaved families were to hold an inaugural meeting later this month to plan their formal launch, timed to coincide with the Labour Party's annual conference in September.

"But now it's different. Now we're going to make ministers pay with their seats," said Keys.

On Tuesday, August 1, the 115th British soldier killed in Iraq since the March 2003 US-led invasion died following a mortar attack on a base in Basra, the main southern city.

About 7,200 British troops serve in southern Iraq.

Support

Rose Gentle, whose 19-year-old son Gordon was killed in Iraq, said she was receiving hundreds of emails per day from other families who have lost loved ones or are concerned for their relatives on active service.

They "feel angry about the way we have been lied to", she told The Guardian.

"This movement is growing and by forming a political party we'll have a focus of that anger."

Last week, four of the bereaved families won an appeal court challenge against the government's refusal to hold a public inquiry into the decision to go to war in against Iraq.

Their lawyer, Phil Shiner, described the victory as stunning, not least because, if they are successful in November, the inquiry could see the prime minister, former foreign secretary Jack Straw and former Defence secretary Geoff Hoon called to explain their actions.

The families had marched to Blair's office and handed an open letter blasting the premier for refusing repeatedly to meet them face to face to defend his polices in Iraq and demanding an immediate pullout of UK troops in the chaos-mired country.

 

Source: IslamOnline.net

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
YORUM EKLE