Most Britons want public inquiry into Iraq invasion

March 17th, 2009 - 6:50 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 17 (IANS) A substantial majority of British people want a public inquiry into the invasion of Iraq, an opinion poll suggests.
The BBC Radio 5 Live poll also found almost two-thirds of Britons are not convinced that British soldiers should be kept in Afghanistan, the British Broadcasting Corporation said.

Although the vast majority of those surveyed believe serving in the British armed forces is a job to be proud of, 72 percent of those questioned believe there should be an official inquiry into Britain’s role in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

The figure increases to a massive 81 percent in the 18-24 age group, says the poll conducted by ComRes for the BBC.

The British government led by Tony Blair went ahead with its controversial invasion of Iraq despite widespread protests, leading to the resignation of two cabinet ministers.

The move remains deeply unpopular in Britain but the government last year defeated opposition attempts to force a public inquiry, saying it would be a “diversion” for British troops serving in Iraq.

In February, Justice Minister Jack Straw vetoed the publication of minutes of cabinet meetings discussing the legality of the war in the run-up to the invasion.

The poll follows fresh calls for an inquiry last week after documents showed that intelligence chiefs were urged to make a key dossier on the Iraqi threat as “firm” as possible.

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