Soldier's mother backs Iraq war probe vote
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UK troops in Iraq
The mother of a soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq backed today's Government vote on an immediate investigation into the war.
MPs will debate a motion tabled by the Scottish Nationalist Party and Plaid Cymru calling for an immediate inquiry by a committee of senior politicians.
Rose Gentle, whose 19-year-old son Gordon, of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, was killed in Basra in 2004, said the investigation should be held immediately to "save lives".
"This investigation should be done and it should be done now.
"That way we could save lots of lives. We'll save lives getting the troops out of there now," she said.
Mrs Gentle, from Glasgow, will join a group of families in a judicial review over the Iraq war at the High Court in London next month.
The families have said they want the Government to be "held accountable" for a war which "breached international law".
In July, the Court of Appeal ruled the families were entitled to apply for a judicial review of the Government's refusal to hold an independent inquiry.
Mrs Gentle backed today's vote and said she hoped the families received the same support when their case came to court.
"I hope they're successful and I hope we are supported, and successful, next month," she said yesterday.
Her backing was echoed by anti-war groups who say the investigation is long overdue.
Andrew Burgin, of the Stop the War Coalition, said the "urgent and independent" inquiry must look into the "background, conduct and aftermath" of the conflict.
"I think there has to be, for the future of this country, a serious inquiry into what has to be the most disastrous foreign policy adventure since Suez, or probably before that.
Dismissing claims that holding the investigation now would have a negative impact on troops still serving in the country, Mr Burgin said: "Nothing can make the situation in Iraq any worse than it already is. The situation is absolutely dire.
Chris Coverdale of Action Against War agreed, adding a swift inquiry could help in withdrawing British troops from the war zone.
He said: "I think it is definitely the time to hold an investigation, and part of that investigation should be about uncovering the illegality of the war.
"When we went in it was illegal and it's still illegal now. This will not impact on troops, if the war is found to be illegal it could help to get them out."
Mr Coverdale said if the motion was successful, the most important thing would be to ensure the investigation was not "steered" by the Government, even if it means bringing in people from overseas.
"Even if it's not one investigation, but several to look at different aspects of this, it needs to be done and it needs to be done now," he said.
Copyright Press Association 2006
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