Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

After a Seven-Year Wait, the Chilcot Report Will Finally Be Published; MIKE KELLY Has All You Need to Know about the Probe into the Iraq War of 2003-2009

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

After a Seven-Year Wait, the Chilcot Report Will Finally Be Published; MIKE KELLY Has All You Need to Know about the Probe into the Iraq War of 2003-2009

Article excerpt

DUE out next week, the Chilcot report, words-wise, is four times longer than War and Peace, three times longer than the Complete Works of Shakespeare, and more than twice as long as the entire Harry Potter series.

It has been eagerly awaited and could answer many unanswered questions about the Iraq War.

In May, Sir John Chilcot and Prime Minister David Cameron finally announced the publication date of the report would be July 6, 2016 - almost seven years after Gordon Brown launched the inquiry.

Sir John said in a statement: "National security checking of the inquiry's report has now been completed, without the need for any redactions to appear in the text. I am grateful for the speed with which it was accomplished."

So, what's the story? REMIND ME, WHAT IS THE CHILCOT REPORT ABOUT? IT'S BEEN A WHILE It is a report into the UK's involvement in the Iraq War following an inquiry led by Sir John Chilcot.

WHO WAS ON THE BOARD OF THE INQUIRY? As well as Sir John, Sir Lawrence Freedman, Sir Roderic Lyne and Baroness Usha Prashar. Sir Martin Gilbert worked on the inquiry from the start but died in February 2015.

WHAT WAS ITS REMIT? It was tasked with looking at the period from the invasion in 2003 to when British troops left in 2009 and the way decisions were made, what actions were taken, and to identify what lessons can be learned.

SO IT COULD DECIDE WHETHER THE WAR WAS LEGAL THEN? No. Its remit didn't include taking a view on whether the invasion was illegal or not.

WHEN EXACTLY WILL THE REPORT BE PUBLISHED AND WHY HAS IT TAKEN SO LONG? It will be published this Wednesday, seven years after it was first commissioned in 2009 by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The inquiry was initially expected to take no longer than two years but has dragged on and on because the panel under-estimated the "unprecedented scope" of the inquiry and the time needed to study approximately 150,000 documents, according to Sir John.

AND...? He also cited the "Maxwellisation" process where those criticised had to be given a chance to respond. …

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