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Chilcot report not likely until after 2015 election

Chilcot report not likely until after 2015 election

Categories: Latest News

Friday April 25 2014

The Daily Mail reports on further developments in the delay to the publication of the Chilcot Inquiry report into the lead up to war in Iraq.

According to the paper, the report is unlikely to be published until after the next election, in May 2015, to avoid any blowback to Labour in an election year. The paper notes, “Labour strategists are said to be alarmed at the prospect of voters being reminded of the Iraq war in the months before the election, since the conflict was blamed for driving many of its voters to the Liberal Democrats in 2005 and 2010.”

The paper also continues the speculation over the role of the former PM, Tony Blair, in the ongoing delay with news that former Labour attorney general, Lord Morris, has sought ‘clarification’ on who exactly is responsible for the delay.

MP Paul Flynn, who rebelled in parliamentary votes on the war in Iraq, said that Blair “dreads the publication of Chilcot”.

“The vote on the Iraq war was the foulest episode of the Blair government,’ he said. ‘The 139 Labour MPs who voted on a severe three-line whip against British involvement were not enough. There were 80 other Labour MPs who had indicated their worries by their support for amendments and early day motions.

“They were bribed, bullied and bamboozled into voting for war, or abstaining. I wonder if Tony and the whips ever dwell on the thought that 179 British lives would not have been lost if they had told the truth and desisted from bellicose bullying,” he added.

News of yet another delay to the Chilcot report comes as the Royal United Services Institute published an edited collection on British Military Operations since 1991 in which it describes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as ‘strategic failures’.

The RUSI report judges the interventions in Iraq to have increased the security threat to the UK noting:

“Far from reducing international terrorism… the 2003 invasion [of Iraq] had the effect of promoting it.

“The rise of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was a reaction to this invasion, and to the consequent marginalisation of Iraq’s Sunni population.

“Today, AQAP and other radical jihadist groups stretching across the Iraqi-Syrian border, pose new terrorist threats to the UK and its allies that might not have existed, at least in this form, had Saddam remained in power.”

The report also notes the impact on regional and domestic security threats of the UK’s intervention in Afghanistan stating Taliban fighters are “motivated much more by opposition to foreign intervention than by global jihadism”.


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