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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6 reader comments

  1. Chris says:

    In his letter Sir John writes “Since January, we have received a large proportion of the responses expected from individuals…”

    Why hasn’t the Inquiry set a (reasonable) deadline for responses to be received, and then anyone who doesn’t make the deadline to respond has to just lump it?

  2. anon says:

    perhaps the Chilcot enquiry have reached a conclusion already? but are just playing for time, perhaps there would be a huge uproar here, perhaps the Government might even fall if or when the full story comes out?

    My personal feeling is that these people are under a lot of pressure at the moment, scared perhaps? There is a lot at stake for some very powerful people. The line taken by the Government and others at the moment simply isn’t credible?

  3. Philip Edwards says:


    Same old story, rotten-to-the-core corruption in Westminster, Whitehall and Canary Wharf. All of it administered by it-wasn’t-me-guv apparatchiks and apologists.

    It would be hysterically funny if it wasn’t so tragic for the cultural health of this country.

    Get yourself ready now for the next war and invasion.

  4. Alan says:

    Six years, 10m for a report commissioned and dictated by those being investigated, that will hold no one of ‘importance’ to account. Meanwhile in the real world, the devastation wrought upon Iraq is the new diplomacy and those culpable continue to profit. To coin a phrase, ‘you can’t make this stuff up!’

    1. Andrew Dundas says:

      How do you know that the Chilcot committee will not implicate anyone of importance?

  5. Andrew Dundas says:

    I’d rather we got a comprehensive report from Chilcot’s committee. One that reflects all the facts and uncertainties.
    That would be a huge advance on studies of all our past wars. And worth waiting for.

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