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Iraq

Volume 404: debated on Wednesday 30 April 2003

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To ask the Prime Minister how many United Kingdom and United States inspectors have been deployed in Iraq to search for weapons of mass destruction; what expertise those from the United Kingdom have to conduct the inspections; from what budget they are being paid; and if he will (a) place in the Library and (b) post on the 10 Downing Street website daily updates on the work of the US-UK Iraqi inspection teams. [110113]

As I said in the House on 14 April, a specialised team is beginning work and we are in discussion with allies and the UN as to what the future role of the UN in such a process may be.The initial United Kingdom contribution centres around a number of dedicated survey teams, totalling around 120 personnel, including nuclear, chemical and biological specialists, explosive ordnance disposal personnel; experts in forensic science and evidence-gathering, debriefing and interviewing specialists; and, supporting functions. This initial activity is being funded as part of the overall additional military costs of the operation as a whole. The funding of the United States contribution is a matter for the Government of the United States.We will aim to release information concerning evidence of Iraqi WMD programmes when and where appropriate, as we did before the conflict began.