9th March 2017
Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab) When can we debate the call made in the Daily Mirror yesterday by my hon. Friend the Member for Barnsley Central (Dan Jarvis) that we should learn the lessons of the Afghan war if we are to avoid any repetition of what happened? In 2006, after only six of our soldiers had died in Afghanistan, the decision was taken to go into Helmand province on the basis that not a shot would be fired. The result of that was that 450 more soldiers lost their lives. We cannot turn lies into the truth by carving them on war memorials or by putting them into the mouths of dignitaries. When can we face up to the truth about the Helmand disaster by having an inquiry?
Mr Lidington (Leader of the House) It is right that we should have a public memorial to those, both military and civilian, who served so valiantly in Afghanistan and Iraq, and also that we should learn the lessons from both those conflicts. The forthcoming debate on the Select Committee report on the Chilcot inquiry will clearly relate primarily to Iraq, but I would have thought that the lessons to be learned from that conflict and the Afghanistan conflict could be debated during that time.