Ed Miliband defends Iraq war condemnation
Published: 29th Sep 2010 11:22:11
Ed Miliband has defended his decision to condemn the Iraq war during his keynote conference speech.
The new leader told the BBC the war had "led to a fundamental loss of trust" in Labour and it was "right to level with people" about that.
He said he had not been able to speak out more strongly about Iraq while in government because he was "part of a collective responsibility".
Mr Miliband became an MP in 2005, two years after the invasion.
He told the conference on Tuesday: "I criticise nobody faced with making the toughest of decisions and I honour our troops who fought and died there, but I do believe that we were wrong. Wrong to take Britain to war."
His brother and shadow foreign secretary David Miliband was caught on camera rebuking former cabinet colleague Harriet Harman for applauding the remarks, saying: "You voted for it, why are you clapping?"
Alistair Darling, Jack Straw and Andy Burnham also did not applaud.
Mr Miliband told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "My view on Iraq at the time was that the weapons inspectors should have been given more time, but frankly that's not the important issue. The important issue is what view do we take now.
"Iraq led to a fundamental loss of trust for us as a government and what's crucial for me is that we show humility this week and we show that we understand the reasons we lost trust.
"For a whole range of reasons it was wrong. We said there would be weapons of mass destruction - there weren't. We didn't build a sufficient alliance with others, and I'm afraid I think we undermined the structures of the UN."
Asked why many of those he worked with while a minister were seemingly not aware of his strong views on the war, he said: "I was in government and part of a collective responsibility, but I think it's right as a political party for us to level with people and indeed with ourselves."
He also said he did not believe his comments would have angered or suprised his brother David: "I don't think he is infuriated at all, because we had lots of leadership debates or hustings during this campaign where we had, and showed we had, different views on Iraq."
During a BBC Breakfast interview it was put to him that it was easy to criticise because he was not in Parliament at the time of the invasion.
"No, I wasn't an MP at the time," he replied. "But you know, in a way, I respect the different decisions people made in 2003. The real issue, though, now, is where do we stand on this issue of Iraq? And I think for us, it's so important we draw a line under it."
At 10:58:26 in EnglandA man has been charged with attempted murder after a woman was found with neck injuries at a house in Slough.
At 10:57:58 in HeadlinesThree more suspected al-Qaeda militants have been killed in a drone strike in southern Yemen, local officials say.
At 10:52:04 in ScotlandThe head of the CBI has said the business organisation does not think the economic case for Scottish independence has been made.
At 10:49:16 in HeadlinesThe National Union of Teachers' conference has voted for a one-day strike in England and Wales in the week beginning on 23 June.
At 10:46:16 in EnglandSeveral chickens and ducks have been seriously injured in a "savage and sadistic act of cruelty" in Cornwall, police have said.
At 10:44:37 in WalesA teenage girl was told she had a common yeast infection by doctors who failed to spot she had cervical cancer.
At 10:43:29 in EnglandWork is set to start on replacing a dam at a Sussex lake.
At 10:39:52 in EnglandCases of malignant melanoma in south-west England have "dramatically increased", according to new figures from Cancer Research UK.
At 10:37:38 in HeadlinesRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the Kiev authorities of breaking last week's Geneva accord on resolving the Ukraine crisis.
At 10:30:38 in HeadlinesSherpa guides in Nepal have demanded more compensation for the families of 13 of their colleagues killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest on Friday.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Ed Miliband defends Iraq war condemnation [Online] (Updated 29th Sep 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/94419/Ed-Miliband-defends-Iraq-war-condemnation [Accessed 21st Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Sir Bob Geldof will pay tribute to his daughter Peaches later as her funeral takes place at the same church where she married.
Journalist and broadcaster Victoria Coren Mitchell made poker history on Sunday by becoming the first two-time winner of the European Poker Tour.
A man has been charged with attempted murder after a woman was found with neck injuries at a house in Slough.
The incidence of the most serious skin cancer in Great Britain is now five times higher than it was in the 1970s, figures show.
The head of the CBI has said the business organisation does not think the economic case for Scottish independence has been made.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com