17 Jun 2015

Chilcot Iraq report may be delayed until May 2016

There’s an update from the Iraq Inquiry but you may feel it doesn’t shed much light – Sir John Chilcot’s letter to the PM is here .

I understand around 40 people are part of the Maxwellisation process and might be subject to criticism. They have legal help to aid them address the criticisms and suggest changes to the report which Sir John is obliged to consider but not obliged to agree with.

Sir John’s letter suggests that some of those criticised have directed him to other information that might be relevant to his inquiry (and which presumably aids their case).

That could mean whole new documents being de-classified and cleared for publication. It could, one source close to the inquiry tells me, mean the report is not published until March, April or May next year.

Sir John sounds a bit testy in the letter about some who are criticised for dragging their heels in replying. With figures from the civil service, the military and politics amongst the 40-something it is hard to know who he has in mind.

The SNP parliamentary leader Angus Robertson asked George Osborne about the delay as the Chancellor stepped in for the PM at PMQs. George Osborne said he was frustrated by the delay like everyone else. Mr Robertson suggested that maybe he shouldn’t have voted for the war in the first place then.

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