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English attacks PM over "pointless" debate

English attacks PM over "pointless" Parliamentary debate

National Leader Bill English says Helen Clark's denial of a Parliamentary debate on the imminent war in Iraq is petty political manoeuvring over a deadly serious issue.

"It is disgraceful that the Prime Minister is writing off a debate on Iraq in Parliament as pointless.

"New Zealanders are very concerned about the war and want to see the Parliament have a considered and serious debate about it. New Zealanders also have a right to know the positions of the different political parties.

"Their interest is heightened by the fact that hundreds of New Zealand military personnel are on the edge of a war zone under American command. Our military personnel deserve to know in this time of increasing danger if they have the support of the New Zealand Parliament.

"No previous Prime Minister has had the arrogance to dismiss the role of Parliament in such a serious issue. I can only presume that Helen Clark is trying to avoid scrutiny of the Government's position," Mr English said.


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