Mr Paul Marsden MP, Shrewsbury and Atcham

voted strongly for the policy

Iraq Investigation - Necessary

by scoring 100.0% compared to the votes below

Someone who believes that the handling of the US led invasion of Iraq in 2003, including the failure of the intelligence about Weapons of Mass Destruction, must be investigated; that those responsible should be held to account; that none of the inquiries so far have been satisfactory would cast votes described by the policy.

Iraq — Weapons of Mass Destruction Inquiry - 4 Jun 2003 - Division No. 217
Policy 'Iraq Investigation - Necessary'Aye
Mr Paul MarsdenAye
LDem440
Lab11290
Con1371
Total205303

The majority of MPs voted against an independent inquiry into the handling of intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. A replacement motion noted the Intelligence and Security Committee is the appropriate body to carry out any inquiry.

The majority of MPs voting voted against the motion:[1]

  • This House
  • recalls the Prime Minister's assertion that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction capable of being used at 45 minutes' notice;
  • further recalls the Government's contention that these weapons posed an imminent danger to the United Kingdom and its forces;
  • notes that to date no such weapons have been found; and
  • calls for an independent inquiry into the handling of the intelligence received, its assessment and the decisions made by ministers based upon it.

A new motion was proposed in its place:[2]

  • This House:
  • believes that the Intelligence and Security Committee[3] established by Parliament is the appropriate body to carry out any inquiry into intelligence relating to Iraq; and
  • notes in relation to Iraq's disarmament obligations the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483[4]

And this passed without a vote.

Iraq — Foreign Affairs Committee Report - 16 Jul 2003 - Division No. 294
Policy 'Iraq Investigation - Necessary'Aye
Mr Paul MarsdenAye
LDem460
Lab8297
Con1351
Total202301

The majority of MPs voted against a judicial inquiry into the decision to go to war in Iraq.

The majority of MPs voted against the motion:[1]

  • This House
  • welcomes Ninth Report[2] from the Foreign Affairs Committee on the Decision to go to war in Iraq, Session 2002-03, HC 813;[3]
  • but notes some reservations by Committee members that it not only had insufficient time but insufficient access to crucial documents to come to comprehensive and definitive conclusions on some of the issues;
  • further notes the recent concerns raised over intelligence material; and
  • calls on the Government to set up a judicial inquiry finally to establish the facts of the matter.

In its place a new motion was proposed:[4]

  • This House
  • welcomes the Ninth Report of the Foreign Affairs Committee on the Decision to go to War in Iraq, Session 2002-03, HC 813;
  • notes that substantial oral and written evidence, by and on behalf of the Government, was provided to the Committee;
  • believes that the Intelligence and Security Committee, established by Parliament by statute, is the appropriate body to consider the intelligence relating to Iraq; and
  • notes that this Committee has already begun its inquiry.

This then passed without a further vote.

Iraq — Set up of judicial inquiry — rejected - 22 Oct 2003 - Division No. 335
Policy 'Iraq Investigation - Necessary'Aye (strong)
Mr Paul MarsdenAye
LDem430
Lab0302
Con1350
Total192305

The majority of MPs voted against a comprehensive independent judicial inquiry into the Iraq war.

The majority of MPs voted against the motion:[1]

  • This House
  • is concerned at growing public confusion since the summer adjournment as a result of increasingly conflicting accounts of intelligence relating to and events leading up to the recent Iraq war and what has happened since; and
  • calls for the setting up of a comprehensive independent judicial inquiry into the Government's handling of the run-up to the war, of the war itself, and of its aftermath, and into the legal advice which it received.

An alternative motion was proposed in its place and voted through immediately afterwards.[2]

Iraq — Judicial Inquiry — Not necessary - 22 Oct 2003 - Division No. 336
Policy 'Iraq Investigation - Necessary'No (strong)
Mr Paul MarsdenNo
LDem037
Lab2910
Con0132
Total294182

The majority of MPs voted against a further inquiry into the war in Iraq.

Those voting Aye passed the motion:

  • This House
  • notes that the Intelligence and Security Committee, established by Parliament by statute, and the appropriate body to consider the intelligence relating to Iraq, and the Foreign Affairs Committee have both carried out inquiries into matters relating to the decision to go to war in Iraq; further notes that substantial oral and written evidence, by and on behalf of the Government, was provided to both inquiries;
  • believes that there is no case for a further inquiry, including a judicial inquiry; and
  • further believes that, following the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1511 on 17th October 2003, attention should now be focused on building a better future for Iraq and its people, and on offering full support to the coalition, including British military and civilian personnel, and the United Nations in this endeavour.

This motion replaced the motion that was rejected in Division 335.

Iraq — Attorney-General's Advice - 9 Mar 2004 - Division No. 80
Policy 'Iraq Investigation - Necessary'Aye
Mr Paul MarsdenAye
LDem440
Lab4283
Con1320
Total194285

The majority of MPs voted against the publication of the Attorney-General's advice on the legality of the war in Iraq.

The majority of MPs voted to reject the motion:

  • This House believes that all advice prepared by the Attorney-General on the legality of the war in Iraq should be published in full.

The new motion in its place passed without a vote:

  • This House
  • notes the long-standing convention, followed by successive governments, that the advice of the Law Officers is given in confidence and is not disclosed publicly;
  • notes, however, the Answer given in the House of Lords by the Attorney General on 17th March 2003[1] which set out his view of the legal basis of the use of force against Iraq, and the letter of the same date from the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee giving more detail of the legal position; and
  • believes that the priority now for the Government is to help the Iraqi people rebuild Iraq.

The Attorney-General's legal advice on the legality of the Iraq invasion was the subject in a legal case.[2] It was eventually published a year later during the 2005 general election.[3]

The publication of the advice can be seen as enabling an effective, public, inquiry into the war.

How the number is calculated

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, no points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, no points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Questions about this formula can be discussed on the forum.

No of votesPointsOut of
Most important votes (50 points)   
MP voted with policy2100100
MP voted against policy000
MP absent000
Less important votes (10 points)   
MP voted with policy33030
MP voted against policy000
Less important absentees (2 points)   
MP absent*000
Total:130130

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Lords are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

agreement score
MP's points
total points
 = 
130
130
 = 100.0 %.


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