IC South London.co.uk – October 2, 2004
The weeping Iraqi woman who begged Labour conference delegates not to vote to withdraw British troops from the country has "strong connections" with the CIA, Britain's most senior back bench MP claimed.
Labour's Tam Dalyell, a persistent critic of the Iraqi war and Father of the House of Commons asked: "Have we been duped yet again?"
In her speech, Shanaz Rashid appealed to the conference in Brighton: "Please, please, do not desert us in our hour of need."
Now, Mr Dalyell, MP for Linlithgow, has written to the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, asking how it came about that Rashid was given centre stage at the conference when she was not even a delegate.
In his letter, Mr Dalyell said: "Her screeching of 'Freedom! Freedom!' was carried on every TV channel to the exclusion of contributions from many others who, unlike Rashid, were actually delegates to the conference.
"Therefore can I ask you, is it true or untrue that you and foreign office ministers - I am told that diplomats declined to be involved - were instrumental in persuading the conference chair, with the acquiescence of Conference Arrangements Committee, to have Rashid called?
"Was it known to you that Rashid has strong connections with the CIA and with those exiled Iraqis who did so much to persuade Washington to go to war? "
Mr Dalyell said that if Mr Straw was to indicate that her appearance was the work of 10 Downing Street and not himself, he would not be astonished.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said they would respond to the MP's concerns upon receiving his letter.
Courtesy News Watcher
Last updated 07/10/2004