On November 30th I was asked to lead for the Labour Front Bench in a debate on the Chilcot Report into the causes of the war in Iraq which took seven years to write and was finally published last July.
The debate was tabled by the Scottish National Party and led by former First Minister, Alex Salmond. It was a blatant attempt to drive a wedge between pro-Blair Labour MPs who supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and anti-war MPs such as Leader Jeremy Corbyn who was passionately opposed to the war. It was perhaps the most difficult speech I have ever made in the House of Commons, but I am glad to say that it managed to unite all Labour MPs and the SNP motion was defeated.
I voted against the war in Iraq on four separate occasions in 2002/3.
You can read my speech and the rest of the debate here. My speech is timed at 13.34.