Gordon Brown may apparently be making a statement on Iraq to the House of Commons tomorrow afternoon, sometime after 2pm. He may or may not mention Britain’s Iraqi employees and the need of some of them for asylum. The Times article of Saturday promises nothing but gave the Government a big, positive headline: classic spin. I have always said, when writing to Jacqui Smith and other Ministers, that to pre-announce asylum for Iraqi employees before they’d actually been taken to safety would increase the risks to them and to the British soldiers who would have to evacuate them. I hope desperately that this won’t happen. I also hope that we will see a genuine promise of resettlement for all who are identified as being seriously at risk for having worked for the British in Iraq.
Brown may or may not promise this on Monday afternoon: frankly they have been so grudging that I doubt it. The Government are going to have to be pushed to do the right thing, so the meeting on Tuesday, October 9th is now more important than ever: we can win if we keep pushing. It’s at Parliament, Committee Room 14, St Stephen’s entrance [UPDATE!] in the Attlee Suite in Portcullis House, which is the MPs’ own office block, opposite the Houses of Parliament from 7-9pm. Invite your MP and come yourself.
I can’t make it down to London on Tuesday, owing to teaching commitments. But I’ve urged my MPs to attend; and if you’re around the capital, perhaps you’d like to show up, too?