Mil News Blair challenged on troops move

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Tony Blair has been challenged to put the UK's decision on a US request for back-up from British troops in Iraq to a vote of MPs.
Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy joined 44 Labour MPs in saying there should be a Commons test for the move.

In the Commons, Mr Blair insisted no decision had been made on sending troops to a new part of Iraq and said it would depend on army chiefs.

The Tories asked why the mooted troops move was necessary.

It is thought redeploying the British soldiers to the area south-west of Baghdad would free US troops for an assault on Falluja.


'Valley of death'

In a Commons motion, the 44 Labour MPs say the move would "significantly increase the risk" to British troops.

Mr Kennedy echoed those calls on Wednesday and said he would not support any new troop deployment which went further than helping British soldiers carry out their current role.

He asked: "If the prime minister in due course is confident of the case for acceding to the request the Americans have made, will he then come to test his arguments and put it to the House for a decision?"

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