The Morgans and Their War over Terrorism; They Are Wales' Most Powerful Couple. He Is the First Minister, His Wife Is an Up-and-Coming Labour MP.But When It Comes to the War on Terrorism, They Just Can't Agree

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), October 27, 2001 | Go to article overview

The Morgans and Their War over Terrorism; They Are Wales' Most Powerful Couple. He Is the First Minister, His Wife Is an Up-and-Coming Labour MP.But When It Comes to the War on Terrorism, They Just Can't Agree


Byline: Tariq Tahir and Steve Bagnall report

WALES' most powerful couple are at odds over government policy in Afghanistan.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan is a staunch supporter of the government's stance on the Afghan War - but his wife disagrees with Tony Blair.

Julie Morgan, MP for Cardiff North, has called for the bombing of Afghanistan to stop to allow in humanitarian aid.

Mrs Morgan is one of a growing number of Labour MPs in Westminster who are voicing disquiet about Tony Blair's backing for the United States' air strikes on the Taliban.

Last week Paul Marsden released a transcript of a conversation with party chief whip Hillary Armstrong, in which she is alleged to have compared the rebel MP to a 1930s appeaser of Nazi Germany.

Last night Mrs Morgan said: "I feel concerned about the humanitarian aid getting to Afghanistan and I have been over the last few weeks.

"I think there should be a pause in the bombing to allow this to be delivered to the potentially starving people."

But the MP would not, however, reveal if she had discussed the matter with her husband. "I'm not prepared to discuss that. You'll have to ask him."

She said the US-led campaign, to which Britain has given support, could in the long-run produce the opposite effect to that desired.

"I've got regrets about the bombing campaign and I'm concerned about the impact on the civilian people of Afghanistan.

"I do think that the awful tragedy is that the United States action will in not in fact help the people of Afghanistan if more people end up dying there."

During the pause to deliver the humanitarian aid to millions of refugees, there should be a re-think about what the aims of campaign are, argued Mrs Morgan.

"There needs to be a reassessment of the campaign. There has to be an idea of what the long term aims are and what the outcome of the campaign is going to be.

"Osama Bin Laden needs to be brought to justice. The crime took place in the United States and that should be where a trial takes place."

The MP said the United Nations should take over the leadership of the campaign to bring bin Laden to court. …

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The Morgans and Their War over Terrorism; They Are Wales' Most Powerful Couple. He Is the First Minister, His Wife Is an Up-and-Coming Labour MP.But When It Comes to the War on Terrorism, They Just Can't Agree
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