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February 27 2003
I was one of 122 Labour MPs (121 and a teller) who voted against the Government in support of a cross party motion on 26 February.

The text of the Government Motion was:

"That this House takes note of Command Paper Cm 5769 on Iraq; reaffirms its endorsement of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, as expressed in its Resolution of 24th November 2002; suports the Government's continuing efforts in the United Nations to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction; and calls upon Iraq to recognise this as its final opportunity to comply with its disamrmament obligations."

The text of the amendment that the ‘rebel’ MPs supported was:

"leave out from 'destruction' to end and add 'but finds the case for military action against Iraq as yet unproven'."

This amendment was backed by almost a third of the Parliamentary Labour Party and there are many who did support the Government who would be very unhappy if Tony Blair authorises war without a clear UN mandate and in this event they would be likely to join with yesterday’s rebels. My own views have always been in line with public opinion (which is not always the case, I make my decisions based on the strength of the arguments) but clearly, on Iraq, public opinion is having as much of an impact on the way MPs vote as the Whips normally do. If you are a constituent, please click here to email me with your views. If you are not one of my constituents and want to lobby your MP, you can find out who this is by checking or by calling 020 7219 4272.

If you are interested in reading some of the debate, click here to go to the Hansard record of proceedings for 26 February
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