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Mum’s fears over Iraq war inquiry delay

WAITING ... Elsie Manning. Below, her daughter, Sharron Elliott, who was killed in Iraq.

WAITING ... Elsie Manning. Below, her daughter, Sharron Elliott, who was killed in Iraq.

THE mother of a fallen South Tyneside soldier fears she will face another delay in knowing why her daughter was sent to war.

Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott, 34, died when her boat was blown up near Basra in Iraq, in November 2006 – the first female British soldier to die in the conflict.

Reports yesterday suggested there will be another delay in Sir John Chilcot’s report into why and how the country went to war in 2003, and the findings may now not be made public until after the General Election next year.

Mrs Manning, 69, said: “It’s very upsetting. It’s bad enough for the younger ones, but I’m getting that bit older now and if they don’t hurry up, I’m not going to get the truth.

“This inquiry was supposed to come out in 2012, and it’s still going on. They’re now saying now that it’s going to come out after the election in 2015. That says to me that there’s something in there that is going to be bad for the Government that they don’t want to come out.”

She added: “You do find a way to carry on with life, and do the things you need to do, but it’s always there in the back of your mind. Sharron made the ultimate sacrifice for her country. So did the three guys who were on the boat with her that day.

“All the parents keep in touch, and we all just want answers. We want the truth.

“It’s unfair. It’s been years and still none of us have any answers.”

The Iraq Inquiry was Sir John Chilcot’s investigation into the Iraq conflict.

The Privy Counsellor and former civil servant was asked to investigate the Iraq war by the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2009.

The inquiry is to consider Britain’s involvement in the country between 2001 and 2009.

It covers the run-up to the conflict, the subsequent military action and its aftermath, with the purpose to establish the way decisions were made, to determine what happened and identify lessons to ensure that in a similar situation in future, the British Government is equipped to respond in the most effective manner in the best interests of the country.

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