Ruth Kelly MP, Bolton West

voted strongly against the policy

Iraq 2003 - Against the invasion

by scoring 1.6% compared to the votes below

Someone who believes that there was no case for the United Kingdom to participate in the US invasion of Iraq which began in March 2003 would cast votes described by the policy.

Iraq — Weapons of Mass Destruction - 24 Sep 2002 - Division No. 319
Policy 'Iraq 2003 - Against the invasion'No
Ruth Kellyabsent
Lab053
Con00
LDem02
Total866

The majority of MPs voted technically against the House of Commons adjourning. This this vote was in the context of a debate on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction and some have interpreted those voting "no" with the majority of MPs as voting against military action in Iraq.

The motion was "That the House do now adjourn," which is a procedural motion to allow a debate on an open issue.

The issue was the publication of the long-awaited Iraq's weapons of mass destruction dossier, for which Parliament had been recalled.

There was no vote planned, but some MPs held a vote anyway (voting for the House not to adjourn), after which the Speaker said:

  • Order. I have a statement to make. That vote has served its intended purpose, demonstrating the strength of feeling in some quarters of the House on this difficult issue, but because of the rules of the House it does not have any procedural effect. As it is now past 10 o'clock, the debate on Iraq has concluded. It is now the duty of the Government Whip to move formally that this House do now adjourn to bring the sitting to a conclusion, and I must put the Question forthwith.

During the debate Mrs Alice Mahon MP (Halifax, Labour) explained why she was voting saying:[1]

  • The only option for those who want to show our disgust that we might be dragged down this route to war is to vote against the motion on the Adjournment tonight. The public are expecting that. It is a betrayal of public trust that we have not been given a vote.

==

Iraq — UN Security Council Resolution 1441 — Second resolution necessary — rejected - 25 Nov 2002 - Division No. 6
Policy 'Iraq 2003 - Against the invasion'Aye
Ruth Kellyabsent
Lab30313
Con0134
LDem430
Total85453

The majority of MPs voted against adding the conditions:[1]

  • This House
  • believes that any decision that Iraq is in material breach of Resolution 1441 is for the UN Security Council as a whole to determine and that no military action to enforce Resolution 1441 should be taken against Iraq without a mandate from the UN Security Council; and
  • further believes that no British forces should be committed to any such military action against Iraq without a debate in this House and a substantive motion in favour.

to the end of the motion for debate, which read:[2]

  • This House -
  • supports United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 as unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council;
  • agrees that the Government of Iraq must comply fully with all provisions of the Resolution; and
  • agrees that, if it fails to do so, the Security Council should meet in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance.

As it turned out, the second extra condition requiring a further debate in the House was satisfied,[3] while the first concerning a Security Council mandate was not.

Iraq — Case for war is unproven — rejected - 26 Feb 2003 - Division No. 96
Policy 'Iraq 2003 - Against the invasion'Aye
Ruth KellyNo
Lab120253
Con13128
LDem520
Total200394

The majority of MPs voted against inserting at the end of a Parliamentary motion that broadly supported Government's policy, the line:[1]

  • ...but finds the case for military action against Iraq as yet unproven.

The main motion in support of the Government was then passed in a vote immediately afterward.[2]

Iraq — Endorse UN Security Council Resolution 1441 — Final Opportunity for Iraq to Disarm - 26 Feb 2003 - Division No. 97
Policy 'Iraq 2003 - Against the invasion'No
Ruth KellyAye
Lab27259
Con1510
LDem052
Total436126

The majority of MPs voted to endorse UN Security Council resolution 1441 giving Iraq a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations.

The text of the approved motion:[1]

  • This House
  • takes note of Command Paper Cm 5769[2] on Iraq;
  • reaffirms its endorsement of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, as expressed in its Resolution of 25th November 2002;[3]
  • supports the Government's continuing efforts in the United Nations to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction; and
  • calls upon Iraq to recognise this as its final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations.

The MPs had just voted against adding the phrase "but finds the case for military action against Iraq as yet unproven" onto the end of it.[4]

Iraq — Case for war not established — rejected - 18 Mar 2003 - Division No. 117
Policy 'Iraq 2003 - Against the invasion'Aye (strong)
Ruth KellyNo
Lab138245
Con15139
LDem530
Total219398

The majority of MPs voted against making a change to the motion before Parliament that declared war on Iraq. The intact motion for war was voted through immediately after this amendment was rejected.[1]

The change would have been to replace the sections of the motion which read:[2]

  • This House...
  • notes that in the 130 days since Resolution 1441 was adopted Iraq has not co-operated actively, unconditionally and immediately with the weapons inspectors, and has rejected the final opportunity to comply and is in further material breach of its obligations under successive mandatory UN Security Council Resolutions;
  • regrets that despite sustained diplomatic effort by Her Majesty's Government it has not proved possible to secure a second Resolution in the UN because one Permanent Member of the Security Council made plain in public its intention to use its veto whatever the circumstances;
  • notes the opinion of the Attorney General that, Iraq having failed to comply and Iraq being at the time of Resolution 1441 and continuing to be in material breach, the authority to use force under Resolution 678[10] has revived and so continues today;
  • believes that the United Kingdom must uphold the authority of the United Nations as set out in Resolution 1441 and many Resolutions preceding it, and therefore supports the decision of Her Majesty's Government that the United Kingdom should use all means necessary to ensure the disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction;
  • offers wholehearted support to the men and women of Her Majesty's Armed Forces now on duty in the Middle East;

with:

  • This House...
  • believes that the case for war against Iraq has not yet been established, especially given the absence of specific United Nations authorisation; but,
  • in the event that hostilities do commence, pledges its total support for the British forces engaged in the Middle East, expresses its admiration for their courage, skill and devotion to duty, and hopes that their tasks will be swiftly concluded with minimal casualties on all sides.

This was one of five major Parliamentary votes for war before the invasion.[3]

Iraq — Declaration of War - 18 Mar 2003 - Division No. 118
Policy 'Iraq 2003 - Against the invasion'No (strong)
Ruth KellyAye
Lab25484
Con1462
LDem052
Total414151

The motion voted through by a majority of MPs agreed that the Government "should use all means necessary to ensure the disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction".[1]

This resulted in the United Kingdom joining the United States led invasion of Iraq two days later.[2]

A proposed change to this motion saying that This House "believes that the case for war against Iraq has not yet been established" had just been voted down.[3] A number of MPs voted in one and not the other, or voted inconsistently.[4] Earlier in the year, during the build-up to war, there had been three other votes in favour of the Government policy.[5]

The (unusually long - please scroll down for votes) motion itself read:[6]

  • This House
  • notes its decisions of 25th November 2002[7] and 26th February 2003[8] to endorse UN Security Council Resolution 1441;[9]
  • recognises that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and long range missiles, and its continuing non-compliance with Security Council Resolutions, pose a threat to international peace and security;
  • notes that in the 130 days since Resolution 1441 was adopted Iraq has not co-operated actively, unconditionally and immediately with the weapons inspectors, and has rejected the final opportunity to comply and is in further material breach of its obligations under successive mandatory UN Security Council Resolutions;
  • regrets that despite sustained diplomatic effort by Her Majesty's Government it has not proved possible to secure a second Resolution in the UN because one Permanent Member of the Security Council made plain in public its intention to use its veto whatever the circumstances;
  • notes the opinion of the Attorney General that, Iraq having failed to comply and Iraq being at the time of Resolution 1441 and continuing to be in material breach, the authority to use force under Resolution 678[10] has revived and so continues today;
  • believes that the United Kingdom must uphold the authority of the United Nations as set out in Resolution 1441 and many Resolutions preceding it, and therefore supports the decision of Her Majesty's Government that the United Kingdom should use all means necessary to ensure the disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction;
  • offers wholehearted support to the men and women of Her Majesty's Armed Forces now on duty in the Middle East;
  • in the event of military operations requires that, on an urgent basis, the United Kingdom should seek a new Security Council Resolution that would affirm Iraq's territorial integrity, ensure rapid delivery of humanitarian relief, allow for the earliest possible lifting of UN sanctions, an international reconstruction programme, and the use of all oil revenues for the benefit of the Iraqi people and endorse an appropriate post-conflict administration for Iraq, leading to a representative government which upholds human rights and the rule of law for all Iraqis; and
  • also welcomes the imminent publication of the Quartet's roadmap[11] as a significant step to bringing a just and lasting peace settlement between Israelis and Palestinians and for the wider Middle East region, and endorses the role of Her Majesty's Government in actively working for peace between Israel and Palestine.

References:

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 policy000
MP voted against policy20100
MP absent000
Less important votes (10 points)   
MP voted with policy000
MP voted against policy2020
Less important absentees (2 points)   
MP absent*224
Total:2124

*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
 = 
2
124
 = 1.6 %.


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