WAR IN IRAQ 2003: Labour Rebel Joins Call for End to War

Article excerpt

Byline: Fiona Scott, Political Editor

A LEADING Coventry Labour cabinet member last night voted with Socialists to call for British troops to be brought home from Iraq.

Cllr Heather Parker - who spoke at the recent Stop the War rally in Coventry's Central Methodist Hall - voted against her group at full council.

She was the only one to do so.

An anticipated rebellion by former deputy council leader Cllr Arthur Waugh (Lab, Westwood) never fully materialised.

More than 23 people spoke during the three-hour long special meeting of Coventry City Council last night.

In a city which is famous for peace and reconciliation Cllr David Cairns (Lab, Henley) called for Coventry people to help a city in Iraq after the war was ended.

Cllr Parker (Lab, Foleshill) said: "It's galling for me to support a Socialist motion, but I do. Everyone knows I'm against war. I'm against war full stop.

"I have very little confidence in the notion there's such a thing as a just war. War is a symptom that in the world we live in, greed and profit, power and controlling are allowed to take precedence over basic humanity."

Labour eventually won support for an amendment which "recognises and understands the principled stance being taken by members of Coventry City Council opposed to the war in Iraq, and also by those who accept the necessity for it.

"The council urges HM government to use every effort to bring the war to a swift and humanitarian conclusion."

Tories tried to get it changed to include a line supporting the government's decision to join the coalition and supporting the troops. …