Tony Blair faced no Iraq War charges, yet Boris Johnson faces the privileges committee for looking at cake, says Jacob Rees-Mogg

Tony Blair faced no Iraq War charges, yet Boris Johnson faces the privileges committee for looking at cake, says Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg has questioned the privileges committee

GB News
Jacob Rees-Mogg

By Jacob Rees-Mogg

Published: 20/03/2023

- 21:01

Updated: 20/03/2023

- 21:15

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War...

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War. This was a war that everyone supported. It was supported by the House of Commons, it was supported by many in the country.

Yes, there was a march against it but the overwhelming majority of the political nation felt the assurances coming from the Government were true.

They felt there was a real risk to this nation given what Saddam Hussein was doing there.

There was even a suggestion that we were at a ’45 minute risk’, that was a headline in the Evening Standard.

As it turned out, there was dodgy dossiers, bad information, fake news being produced to support what the Government wanted to do.

The Government wanted to do this in good faith, but it used information that was inaccurate to put its case across.

The Government even had to get its legal advice updated to ensure that it had the legal basis for doing it.

That’s not unusual, people go back to their solicitors, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the second most senior legal solicitor to the Government at that time was the then solicitor general, Harriet Harman.

Harriet Harman, who now presides over the privileges committee which is looking into something completely different.

Not a war that cost UK lives, American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. A war on a very large scale which was based on information that wasn’t actually factual in the end.

And that led to no charges against a Prime Minister, no privileges committee against a Prime Minister.

But Boris Johnson, who has been found guilty by the Metropolitan Police over eating a slice of cake, that serious offence of seeing a cake and not eating it during lockdown, has been called in-front of a privileges committee.

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg has questioned the privileges committee

GB News

So far, the privileges committee, as I said, led by Harriet Harman who has already tweeted her view on Boris Johnson has published its side of the story.

It’s gathered evidence, it’s inevitably gone to Sue Gray’s report, who is now heading off to the Labour Party.

But it has not published Boris Johnson’s evidence.

He's given this evidence. It's in the committee's hands to publish it.

I hear lots of information in it about what people thought at the time, which is what matters because ministers talk to Parliament in good faith.

They say what they know at the time and what they are briefed about.

And I was leader of the House of Commons at the time.

I had to answer questions every week on business questions and I was told firmly by officials that, quote, the rules were followed at all times, UN quote.

So other ministers were also being briefed that the rules were being followed.

And this evidence that is, yet it hasn't been published, it's in the hands of the committee to publish it.

This seems to me to be completely disproportionate when a much bigger mistake never led to equivalent parliamentary action.

And I'm not calling for the impeachment of Tony Blair. I happen to think that would be a grave mistake.

Boris Johnson giving an interviewBoris Johnson said the investigation against him was 'cynical stitch up' PA

But I am worried about the americanisation of our political system, that in America, as soon as a politician upsets any interest group, there is legal action.

There are impeachments. Impeachments have become more and more common, which assumes people don't act in good faith and undermines trust poisons the well of politics because the truth is most politicians of either Persuasion Act in good faith, even if they then make mistakes.

And this is not a legal question, it is a political question. And the Privileges Committee is not even a proper legal setup.

It has a gossamer of constitutional propriety thrown over it.

But it is in fact a political committee against Boris Johnson who had a mandate.

And why is his mandate challenged? Has it been successfully challenged? Well, of course it's by the haters of Brexit, the haters of Brexit who never accepted.

The election result that he achieved and what he did to take this country out of the European Union. So we've got Tupperware versus warfare, Tupperware, parliamentary inquiry, warfare, nothing happens, which is the bigger crime.

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