15 years since the biggest peace rally in British history


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Today marks 15 years since the biggest peace rally in British history. 
million people marched on Westminster in outcry against the illegal Iraq War.

The Liberal Democrats, led by Charles Kennedy, were the only major party to oppose it.

The UK’s “biggest ever demonstration”. 

On this day 15 years ago, a million people marched on Westminster as people across the world united in protest against the Iraq War.

Labour and the Conservatives both supported the war, but the Liberal Democrats, under the leadership of Charles Kennedy, opposed the war - the only major UK-wide political party to do so.

Kennedy argued an attack on Iraq would be illegal, and that the Labour Government has failed to make the case for war. 

The Liberal Democrat position wasn’t popular at the time - as most national newspapers and the Conservatives cheered Tony Blair on. 

Unfortunately, one of our arguments - that a war might unleash terrorist forces that might be difficult to control - proved only too correct. The devastation that occurred in Iraq and that is now being repeated in Syria would almost certainly not have happened but for the historic mistake of the Iraq war. 

Now in a world that seems to have grown more unstable and dangerous since Iraq, we must not forget the huge cost of those dreadful mistakes.

We should co-operate with other countries - especially in Europe - to keep our peace, to work harder for peace and, by standing together, be stronger against those who threaten our peace. 

Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat MP for Kingston and Surbiton, said, “When I voted against the Iraq War with my Liberal Democrat colleagues, it was deeply saddening that so many Conservative and Labour MPs refused to join us. They preferred to obey their party bosses and their cheerleading newspapers - and so ended the world up in such a bad place. 

“While the Iraq War and Brexit are different, it’s their similarities that strike me today: the Liberal Democrats are once again the only party united in our opposition, whilst the May-Corbyn anti-Europe Coalition leads our country to disaster. 

“The biggest difference of course is that the Iraq disaster was felt most hard by Iraqis. The victims of Brexit will be ourselves.” 


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