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Cross Party Press Conference regarding an independent inquiry
(Noémie Suchet, Calvin Ward and leaders of SNP, PC, SDLP and UUP are here all together.)

Noémie Suchet:
Today we are seeing something that is rare in British politics, leaders from different parties, stripes and beliefs are united and we here to call for an independent inquiry into the operation conducted in the Falklands. We have had our suspicions about this operation and repeatedly asked about the reasoning of this operation, the specific threat that led to this operation and the government stonewalled our questioning, and in return questioned our patriotism in return because we were asking questions about this operation and why did we need it. We never got any answers, only deflections, attacks and avoidance. With appointment of Harriet Jones as the new Minister of Defence, I chose to ask these questions once again, in the hope that we can get at least some answers from the newly appointed minister and to her credit, I have gotten a fast response from her and the response was shocking. There was no threat against our interests in the Falklands, then Minister of Defense went away with this operation on a whim, without any advice and suggestion from our military leaders and experts. This answer finally confirmed our suspicions about this operation, that something was wrong with it, that the government was hiding something about it.
This operation was an egregious waste of time and resources, irresponsible and reckless in its conduct, it has placed our soldiers and citizens in danger and finally broke the trust we have in our government. Let me be clear about something, this operation endangered our standing in the world, wasted our limited resources and could have ended up in a disaster or war just because of the whims of a man and lack of courage by the then Prime Minister Masters, Deputy Prime Minister and Chancellor Harold Saxon and Foreign Secretary Lewis Graves. Prime Minister Masters should have fired him on the spot, Harold Saxon and Lewis Graves should have pushed to fire him or resign in protest, instead every single one of these men chose to cover it up because they lacked the courage to fire this irresponsible, reckless and impulsive man who acts on his whims. They have stonewalled us, questioned our patriotism, misled the British Public and the Parliament and now that the truth is out, they are once again trying to cover up their cover up. This operation could have led to deaths of our soldiers and citizens, this operation could have led to a war and it would have been for nothing.
 Do not get me wrong, this operation already damaged our country and her standing. Our standing with our allies has been damaged, they will no longer trust us as they did before. There will always be questions about our intentions and if there is a real crisis out there, there will always be doubts about whether it is real or just actions of a man acting on his whims. This operation wasted money that could have been spent to protect our citizens, instead of putting them in harm's way. Our country is already in a tough spot with what is going on around the world and inside our country and we need every resource we can spare to protect this country, instead we are wasting it on whims of a man and lack of courage of others. We are wasting our credibility and reliability on reckless operations.
That is why all of us are here and that is why all of us are calling for an independent inquiry into this matter so that at the very least we can find out what is going on, learn if the government is hiding anymore information from the British public and to ensure we will not have a government and military acting on whims of a man who was desperate for attention and a bunch of people who were too cowardly to stop it. Now I will leave the stage to Calvin. 

Calvin Ward: 
Last year, at the beginning of the Master’s government, the Defence Secretary sent a substantial portion of the Royal Navy toward the Falklands under the guise of protecting commercial vessels from threat. As Opposition parties, we all asked the government to explain their reasoning. The Defence Secretary as well as the then Prime Minister assured us that there were good reasons. However, they could never prove what that threat was. This move caused international tension. What we have learned is that there was no direct threat or cause for these actions. When we as an Opposition attempted to hold the government to account, we were not met with transparency or honesty. Rather we were met with misdirection and stonewalling. The current Prime Minister has continued in that tradition. He refuses to answer direct questions. This whole string of governments has been a deteriorating disaster of covering up mistakes and double talk.This is a serious issue. The Conservatives created an international incident without cause. They put the lives of our naval services at risk, sent us on the brink of attack, and wasted millions of the public’s money for no reason. To cover it up, the former Prime Minister misled Parliament. The current t Prime Minister is not without fault. He was at the time both Chancellor and Deputy Prime Minister. 
Mr. Masters said that by pressing this issue, I was making a mountain out of a molehill. What we have come to see is that it’s Kilimanjaro hanging around the neck of this government. I said at last year’s Labour Party conference that we need transparency in government. I have said since day one that Britain deserves better. I believe at this time it is necessary for the Saxon ministry to call an election and to hold themselves accountable to the electorate. The Prime Minister refuses. He has shown that the Conservatives are buried in Graves, Masters of nothing, and they should all be sacked.
However, today we as a united Opposition, reaching across party lines, are calling for an independent inquiry into the Argentine Debacle. We cannot trust this government to be transparent. We cannot expect them to be honest or to be held to account on their own. They have misled Parliament and by extension the whole of the country. Leaders are not those with position. Rather they are those who do right and walk in truth.The inquiry should focus on I believe a simple task. They should answer three questions: What did Mr. Saxon know? When did he know it? Why didn’t he or his predecessor stop it and instead attempted to cover it up? The Conservatives have acted in secrecy and shadow for far too long. If they have nothing to fear, if there is nothing left for us to see, then they ought to welcome the inquiry.If they are innocent, they should welcome scrutiny. If the Prime Minister continues to stonewall and reject this inquiry, he himself is cooperating with the misleading of the House and thus the erosion of our parliamentary democracy.
Noémie Suchet MP

Member of Parliament for Bath

LibDem Leader
Question to you both from the BBC: What do you say to those who argue that this is a national security issue and should therefore remain confidential?
We're not asking for detailed transcripts of every Cabinet meeting until doomsday. Rather, we believe that the previous Defence Secretary created an international incident without cause. We believe the Prime Minister covered up and defended that issue. He said in Parliament that the mission as to protect commercial vessels when there was not a clear and direct threat to protect them from. He misled the country. Those actions are shameful and without excuse.

What we now need to know is if anyone else, especially the current Prime Minister, knew what was going on. If he knew that there was a cover up he willingly participated in the misleading of the country. I want to make it clear: if the roles were reversed, I would want my cabinet to hold me to account. We hear so much about distrust of government; this is how you get it back. I don't care if it's Labour, Liberal, SNP, UUP, and yes even the Tories; we are all accountable to the people. The people need to know.
I’d like to start with that this is not an issue of national security, this is about an unscrupulous minister who gained power for the first time in his life wanting to play with his “new toys” and try to grab headlines for himself and a cabinet failing to hold him accountable. The Prime Minister should have fired him on the spot instead of helping him cover this issue up but that said Minister of Defence already revealed there was no threat at all, I think that should cover the biggest potential confidentiality issue. If there is something that requires sensitivity and confidentiality, we can always appoint someone that is trustworthy, release a full report to the Parliament and a redacted one to the public. We have mechanism to ensure accountability and confidentiality, and they are not there for nothing. So let’s use them. This is an issue of accountability and we have to hold this government accountable.
Noémie Suchet MP

Member of Parliament for Bath

LibDem Leader
This was good stuff but unfortunately you kind of went all in with a decent pocket-pair. In the right circumstances that can be a good move but usually it ends up in you over-committing and looking a bit foolish. At this point however you had not over committed so the press liked you guys. By the end of this story, with a helpful Defence Sec giving you every answer you wanted in her Question Time, the media got a little bored of you repeatedly calling for an inquiry, they very much saw it as beating a dead horse when there was no need to. Remember the Russia Inquiry in the US, sometimes it's good to keep a little powder dry for that smoking gun

XP for Ward
If the Lib Dems had XP then Suchet would get one as well.

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