CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

PRIME MINISTER – BUTLER REPORT & GCHQ – 20 July 2004

[The Prime Minister: ... The public will respect people who were honestly for the war and they will respect people who were honestly against the war: they will not respect a politician who says that he is for and against the war in the same newspaper article.]

Mr Jonathan Sayeed rose

Dr Julian Lewis rose

[The Prime Minister: I give way to the hon. Member for New Forest, East (Dr Lewis).]

Dr Lewis: I am one of those people who supported the war before, during and after it, and I continue to do so. What I do not support is the discrediting of our Intelligence Services by the exaggeration of the intelligence that was available. Will the Prime Minister tell the House why GCHQ, our largest intelligence agency, is barely mentioned in the Butler Report? Was there any signals intelligence and, if so, what was it and why was it not mentioned in the report?

[The Prime Minister: I cannot answer that last question, but I shall find the answer and tell the hon. Gentleman. It is unfair to say that of our Intelligence Services. They do a fantastic job for this country and the judgments that they made were thoroughly justified on the basis of the intelligence at the time. The hon. Gentleman rightly and fairly said that he would still support the war. So would I, because not all the intelligence has turned out to be wrong. If what Lord Butler says in paragraph 41 is correct, there is ample justification in the breaches of UN resolutions.]