Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cameron 'Disappointed' over Release Date of Iraq War Findings

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cameron 'Disappointed' over Release Date of Iraq War Findings

Article excerpt

Byline: Sam Lister and Gavin Cordon Reporters

DAVID Cameron has told the head of the inquiry into the Iraq war he is "disappointed" that the findings will not be published until next summer and urged him to "expedite" the final stages.

Sir John Chilcot announced earlier that his team expects to complete the text of its two million word report by the week commencing April 18 and aims to publish it by June or July 2016.

But in a letter to the inquiry chairman, the Prime Minister said the families of those who served in Iraq would share his disappointment at the timescale.

He wrote: "I recognise that you have a significant task, but would welcome any further steps you can take to expedite the final stages of the inquiry."

Sir John said the report would be made available to officials for "national security checking" and preparation for publication once it is completed.

The process is required to ensure the Government's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and the protection of UK national security "will not inadvertently be breached by publication of the inquiry's report as a whole", he said.

But the Prime Minister pointed out the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday took just two weeks to complete and said he expected the process for the Iraq report to "take no longer than this".

He added: "Whilst it is welcome of course that there is now a clear end in sight for your inquiry, I am disappointed - and I know the families of those who served in Iraq will also be disappointed - that you do not believe it will be possible logistically to publish your report until early summer."

Tony Blair, who ordered the original invasion of Iraq in 2003, appeared before the inquiry twice.

Although the probe looked at the entire period of British operations in Iraq, much of the focus has been on the decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein. …

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