POINT OF ORDER – PLAGIARISED DOSSIER – 7 July 2003
Dr Julian Lewis: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I apologise for not providing notice of my point, but are you aware of paragraph 137 of the report from the Foreign Affairs Committee, entitled The Decision to go to War in Iraq, which reads:
"We further conclude that by referring to the document" –
the second dossier –
"on the floor of the House as 'further intelligence' the Prime Minister – who had not been informed of its provenance, doubts about which only came to light several days later – misrepresented its status and thus inadvertently made a bad situation worse."?
Given that the author of the main article on which the dossier was based, Mr. Ibrahim al-Marashi, testified to the Committee that his article and two other articles from Jane's Intelligence Review accounted for 90 percent of the second dossier, is it not clear that the Prime Minister did inadvertently mislead the House? Have you heard from him that he intends to come to the House at the earliest opportunity to set the record straight?
[Mr Speaker: Technically, the Prime Minister is coming before the House, because the Liaison Committee meets tomorrow –
Shadow Leader of the House Mr Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst): No.
Mr Speaker: Order. The Prime Minister will be questioned by that Committee. In fact, the Liaison Committee meeting was set for tomorrow in order that the document that the hon. Member for New Forest, East (Dr Lewis) mentions would be available.]