By Ray Fleming

DURING the hectic two or three days during which Britain's Lib-Con coalition was put together early in May there must have been many discussions about areas of disagreement between the two parties and how they should be handled.

Most of these arose from differences in the election manifestos of the two parties and compromises were reached on them -- often with surprising speed.

However, it now seems clear that one of the most important disagreements was either not discussed or that there was an agreement to disagree. This unfinished business was embarrassingly exposed in the House of Commons on Wednesday when Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg made his debut at Prime Minister's Questions and spoke about “the illegal invasion of Iraq”. As the Liberal Democrat leader in 2003 Mr Clegg refused to support the Iraq war whereas David Cameron for the Conservatives readily did so. Now the British government is apparently split at its highest level over an issue of critical importance to the final judgement on the Iraq war and the consequences of that judgement. The war's legality was a highly controversial issue in 2003 and remains so today. An attempt by Downing Street to pass the buck to the Chilcot Inquiry after Mr Clegg's statement was quickly resisted by a spokesman for the Inquiry who said it would not make a judgement on the legality of the war. Will Mr Cameron make clear where his government stands on this matter?


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