BLACKPOOL, England – Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labor Party gave him a hard-fought vote of confidence on Iraq Monday, passing a resolution supporting the use of force against Saddam Hussein if all else fails and if the United Nations supports it.
The party has been divided for months by Blair's tough stance on Iraq, with many dissenters expressing deep misgivings about the possibility of war.
But after an emotional two-hour debate, delegates passed by a show of hands a motion urging the government to make every effort through peaceful means, under the rubric of the United Nations, to disarm Saddam.
If all other options are exhausted, the motion said, military action would be acceptable "within the context of international law and with the authority of the United Nations."
The conference rejected by a vote of 60 percent to 40 percent a motion rejecting the use of force and saying there is little evidence to substantiate claims that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.