Leaders in call on Chilcot report

Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Scottish political leaders are calling for the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war to be published without further delay.

The multimillion-pound probe, examining decisions and actions taken around the invasion of Iraq in 2003, was launched more than five years ago.

The final round of hearings took place in early 2011 but the report has yet to be made public.

It is understood First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is rallying support among Scottish party chiefs for its prompt publication.

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, a minister under the government of Tony Blair, joined Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie last night in calling for the earliest possible publication of the findings.

MPs will get a chance to discuss the delay in a Commons debate later this month.

Mr Murphy said: “The Chilcot Inquiry is a crucially important piece of work that must be conducted thoroughly and forensically.

“The inquiry was initiated by Labour in July 2009, because it is vital to identify the lessons that can be learned from the conflict.

“There is rightly real public interest in the findings of such an important inquiry and I think it is right that there is the earliest possible publication of the report.”

The MP for East Renfrewshire added: “Clearly the precise date is for the inquiry team to decide but I think it’s necessary that the report is published soon.”

The Commons debate on the report will take place on January 29, at the request of Tory MP David Davis who last week said the delay in publication is influencing MPs’ ability to make decisions to go to war now, for example in Syria, because there remain doubts over what happened in Mr Blair’s government over Iraq.

Mr Davis said on Tuesday that he hoped it would ”nudge” its author, Sir John Chilcot, either to publish or explain to the public why it has not been released.

Mr Rennie said the report should be released as soon as possible, even if that means releasing it in the “purdah” period before the general election on May 7.

He said: “It is important that the lessons learnt from Chilcot report are learnt whilst there are people involved in Parliament who are in a position to answer for their actions.

“It has been over five years since the Iraq inquiry began taking oral evidence. The publication of the report has been long awaited.

“Liberal Democrats are pushing for the Chilcot report to be published within one week of receipt – even if the report is submitted within purdah period. Politicians from all parties across the UK must push for these findings to be finally brought into the light.”

Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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