Today marks 15 years since the biggest peace rally in British history. A million people marched on Westminster in outcry against the illegal Iraq War. The Liberal Democrats, led by Charles Kennedy, were the only major UK-wide party to oppose it.
The UK’s “biggest ever demonstration”. On this day 15 years ago, up to two million people marched on Westminster as people across the world united in protest to the Iraq War.
Labour and the Conservatives both supported the war, and the Liberal Democrats under the leadership of Charles Kennedy were the only party to oppose the war. Kennedy argued that the war was illegal, and the government wasn’t being transparent.
In 2003 at Liberal Democrat conference, Kennedy said “This is a leadership of charlatans and chancers. At the time, they asked none of the key questions. That was left to us.”
He said it was a “devastating indictment of Labour in power; and of our political system itself”.
One of the remarkable things about the widespread opposition to the war was the number of different people who came out to oppose it. They were people who had never contacted their MP before, and had never been politically active.
Elaine Bagshaw, Parliamentary Spokesperson for Poplar & Limehouse said: “15 years ago people took to the streets to take a stand against the Iraq war, and yet still their voices were ignored."
"The illegal war in Iraq did huge amounts of damage, both to our international standing and to people’s trust in Parliament and politics. It should serve as a reminder to us all not to be afraid to question our Government and to take a stand when we feel they are doing more harm than good."