Author Topic: Newsview :MPs to press Chilcot on Iraq delays  (Read 96 times)


0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

News View

  • Guest
Newsview :MPs to press Chilcot on Iraq delays
« on: February 05, 2015, 12:00:09 AM »



Your View - thats NewView

MPs to press Chilcot on Iraq delays

  Soldiers from the 1 Yorks Battlegroup during a operation in 2007British troops served in Iraq between 2003 and 2009


The head of the official inquiry into the Iraq War will be questioned about its progress later by MPs, amid anger that its report will not be published before the general election.


It is the first time Sir John Chilcot has been cross-examined about his work since the inquiry began in 2009.


He has said he will not be drawn on the substance of the inquiry or a date for publication, citing confidentiality.


But MPs said he needed to set out "the reasons for the delays" to the report.


Sir John's appearance before the Foreign Affairs Committee is scheduled to start at 10:00 GMT and is expected to last about two hours.


Last month he said there was no "realistic prospect" of the report being released before the election on 7 May.


This is despite the inquiry holding its last public hearing in 2011.


The inquiry is considering how UK forces came to participate in the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and its aftermath, which saw UK troops remain in the country until 2009.


In a Commons debate last week, MPs from all sides called for continued delays to the report to be explained.


  Sir John ChilcotSir John has said he will be "constrained" in what he can discuss


The cross-party committee, chaired by Conservative MP Sir Richard Ottaway, has said it will focus its questions on "the preparation of his report" - which is expected to be more than a million words long - and on the "obstacles which remain before he can submit it to the prime minister".


"This is an opportunity for Sir John Chilcot to set out the reasons for the delay," Sir Richard told Radio 4's Today programme.


"We want him to have a look at the overall timeframe he has been operating under or not been operating under. We want to pose some questions to him about the evidence and the publication of evidence."


Asked whether he would give Sir John a "hard time", Sir Richard said the session would be "dignified but focused".


But Sir John has said he will be "constrained" in what he can say and will not:

  • Anticipate the inquiry's ultimate findings

  • Make a judgement on when it will be published

  • Comment on the ongoing process of "Maxwellisation" where those provisionally criticised in the report are being invited to respond

  • Enter into sensitive discussions on the declassification of documents


In a statement last month, he said the inquiry had taken longer than he and his other panel members had expected but he would not be giving a "running commentary".


"To ensure that the conclusions we reach are well-founded it is essential that our approach should be rigorous and comprehensive," he said.


"We are conscious of our responsibility - to the public and to all those whose lives have been deeply affected by the events we are examining - to discharge our duty thoroughly, impartially and fairly."


Ministers say they are frustrated by the delays but cannot intervene because it is an independent inquiry.


But Conservative backbencher David Davis suggested that the Civil Service, which has the final say over which documents relating to Iraq can be published, was partly to blame.


"The Sir Humphrey Mafia are being difficult," he told Today. "They have an interest in keeping secrets."


Between 2003 and 2009, 179 British personnel lost their lives in Iraq and thousands of Iraqi civilians died.

Source: MPs to press Chilcot on Iraq delays

Daily Newsview: see more @ Faithwall

Faithwall The New-s Site @[/font]



Your View - thats NewView