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Anti-war warning by MP

PUBLISHED: 10:26 08 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:36 03 March 2010

IPSWICH MP Chris Mole today warned he would not be able to support the government if it went ahead with attacks on Iraq without United Nations backing.

IPSWICH MP Chris Mole today warned he would not be able to support the government if it went ahead with attacks on Iraq without United Nations backing.

But he felt military action was unlikely to be launched this year – and certainly not before parliament has had a chance to debate the issue.

"I think the demands to recall parliament are irrelevant. We are not that far off its return in any case.

"I cannot conceive that there will be any action before we get back to parliament – and that will give the House plenty of opportunity for a debate," he said.

Mr Mole was keen to see evidence before giving his backing to any action.

"I do think it is very important to gain support from the UN before any action is taken.

"If the United States and Britain act unilaterally, it would be very difficult to involve other countries in nation-building in Iraq afterwards," he said.

Mr Mole's comments came as he prepared to fly to the United States for a series of meetings with American politicians.

He will be in the US at the same time as Tony Blair is a guest of President Bush at his Camp David retreat.

They are expected to discuss the next moves in the war against terrorism – and preparations for action in Iraq.

However in Britain reaction among both the public and politicians is divided.

A poll on the Evening Star's webpage shows opinion among our readers almost equally divided.

About a third would not support any action, a third would support action if the US launches an attack, and a third would support action if it had UN support.

Almost 600 people have voted so far – one of the largest samples we have ever seen on a web poll.

And when an MP as loyal as Mr Mole is expressing doubts about launching an attack, alarm bells may well be sounding in Whitehall – despite Mr Blair's firm support for America expressed in a press conference in his Sedgefield constituency earlier this week.

Have your say on the debate, visit our website at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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Chris Mole's column – see page 10.

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