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Iraq war was wrong, says Labour leader Ed Miliband

Category: Politics

Published: 28th Sep 2010 16:11:10

Labour's new leader Ed Miliband has said that going to war in Iraq was "wrong".

In his first party conference speech since becoming leader three days ago, he said he did not criticise anyone for making "the toughest of decisions" about Iraq.

But he said: "We were wrong, wrong to take Britain to war, and we need to be honest about that".

He said the decision to send British troops had undermined the UN.

One hundred and seventy nine British service personnel were killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2009.

Mr Miliband was not an MP in 2003 when then Prime Minister Tony Blair decided to send British troops into Iraq as part of the US-led invasion to remove Saddam Hussein.

"Iraq was an issue that divided our party and our country.

"Many sincerely believed that the world faced a real threat. I criticise nobody faced with making the toughest of decisions and I honour our troops who fought and died there," Mr Miliband said.

He said he supported the mission in Afghanistan "as a necessary response to terrorism," but he did not support the Iraq mission.

"[We were] wrong because that war was not a last resort, because we did not build sufficient alliances and because we undermined the United Nations.

"America has drawn a line under Iraq and so must we.

"Our alliance with America is incredibly important to us, but we must always remember that our values must shape the alliances that we form and any military action that we take."

The US formally ended its combat operations in Iraq last month, with 50,000 military personnel still there involved in the transition process. They are due to withdraw by the end of 2011.

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BBC News, 2010. Iraq war was wrong, says Labour leader Ed Miliband [Online] (Updated 28th Sep 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/94161/Iraq-war-was-wrong-says-Labour-leader-Ed-Miliband [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]

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