Following intense pressure from David Cameron, UKIP, and the families of soldiers killed in the Iraq War to speed up his timetable, Sir John Chilcot has written to the Prime Minister saying he will publish his Iraq Inquiry report next June or July. In doing so he will conclude a process started seven years ago by Gordon Brown.
Sir John’s letter states that the inquiry expects to be able to complete the text of its report in the week of 18 April 2016. As Breitbart London previously reported the Iraq Inquiry has taken a long time because of the way witnesses were able to review findings:
Major delays are said to be caused by the so-called ‘Maxwellisation’ process. This long-established process requires that draft criticisms be put to the people concerned to allow them to comment. It is understood that 30 former or current ministers, officials and military officers are among those engaged in ‘Maxwellisation’.
Sir John says this has “opened up new issues or referred to material that was not part of the evidence submitted to the inquiry, which we are considering with care”.
The ‘Maxwellisation’ process was itself delayed by an earlier argument over the publication of correspondence between Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W Bush.
Two British Cabinet Secretaries – Gus O’Donnell and Sir Jeremy Heywood – were said to fear that publication could harm communications between future U.S. Presidents and British Prime Ministers. In the end some limited publication took place.
Some now argue that letting Tony Blair review the sections of report focusing on his actions has allowed him to preempt some of the criticism he will face. Speaking to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria he said:
“I apologise for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong. I also apologise for some of the mistakes in planning and, certainly, our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime.”
Nevertheless Mr. Blair still believes the decision to join the US-led coalition’s invasion of Iraq was the right one:
“I find it hard to apologise for removing Saddam.”