Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood caused uproar in the House of Commons last night when he suggested MPs calling for an inquiry into Iraq were encouraging attacks on civilians.
The highly-charged comments were made during a heated debate in which calls for an inquiry were defeated by 298 votes to 273, a Government majority 25.
Scottish and Welsh nationalist politicians, supported by Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, led calls for an inquiry into the Government's conduct in the run up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and into the war and occupation.
But they were accused by Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, of "sending the wrong signals".
Mr Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr) intervened to support her, saying: "I think the real issue here today is the huge amount of Iraqi lives that have been lost, and those lives have been taken by the insurgents."
He added: "There are a huge amount of people in Iraq who are losing their lives. What the Honourable Members opposite have done today is to inflame that process."
Furious opposition MPs shouted at Mr Mahmood to withdraw the comments and the Deputy Speaker, Black Country MP Sylvia Heal (Halesowen & Rowley Regis), advised him to "rethink".
Mr Mahmood said what he "meant to say" was that the debate would be watched across the world "and there are people who will capitalise on these actions and put at risk those lives".
The debate, the first on Iraq for two years, came after it was disclosed the cost of Britain’s military involvement in Iraq has passed #4 billion. Ms Beckett told the House it was "not the time" to promise an inquiry.