Pressure on Chilcot to publish continues
Categories: Latest News
Wednesday August 26 2015
The Guardian reports on the growing frustration of Prime Minister David Cameron into the delayed publication of the Chilcot report.
David Cameron added further pressure on the chairman of the Iraq inquiry, Sir John Chilcot, to set a timetable for the publication of the long delayed report into the Iraq war, after MP’s demanded that the report be published “within a matter of weeks” in January 2015.
The growing impatience in Downing Street follows on from threats of legal action against Sir John by the families of soldiers killed during the Iraq war if the report was not published in this year. The initial inquiry began in 2009 and completed taking evidence in 2011. The inquiry has cost taxpayers £10 million to date.
In January, Cameron wrote to Sir John calling for a timetable for publication of the report and was said to be “fast losing patience” with it. Speaking on Friday, Cameron said: “It’s frustrating. We want this inquiry finished. It’s for the good of the families. It’s for the good of the country. People want to know the truth. They want this inquiry out and so do I.”
Sir John, appearing before the foreign affairs select committee told its chairman, Sir Crispin Blunt, that he was still waiting for witnesses to respond to planned criticisms in the report, under the Maxwellisation process, where anyone likely to face criticism is given a chance to respond prior to publication.
However, a witness to the inquiry said: “You can’t go on forever. You can’t have endless exchanges with those involved. In the end, there will be differences of opinion.”
In recent days twenty nine families of soldiers killed in Iraq have issued an ultimatum to Sir John that they will seek a judicial review if any further delays occurred to the publication of the findings.
Last week, The Independent reported that several inquiry sources were furious over the pressure placed on Sir John to publish the findings, claiming there was a British political establishment plot to smear the inquiry in order to dilute the significance of its findings. The report is said to have sent “shockwaves” through Whitehall over its purported criticism of the Government of the day.
Former Liberal Democrat Home Office Minister, Norman Baker said: “The British people have a right to know what was done in their name without it being filleted by those who would like to keep some matters secret.”