Chilcot report cost to be waived

The families of service personnel killed in the Iraq War will not have to pay for copies of the long-awaited report into the conflict, Downing Street has said.

Friday, 3rd June 2016, 2:25 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd June 2016, 5:33 pm
Staff Sgt Sharron Elliott, killed in Iraq

A Number 10 spokesman said there was “no question” of families having to pay for copies of the Chilcot report, which will be published on July 6.

Families had been told they faced being charged £767 for full hard copies of the 2.6 million word, 12-volume report.

Elsie Manning, mother of Staff Sgt Sharron Elliott, who was killed in Iraq

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But a Number 10 spokesman said: “There is no question of families of service personnel who died in Iraq having to pay for copies of the Chilcot report.”

Earlier, the mum of a South Tyneside soldier who was in Iraq had slammed a decision to charge grieving families.

Elsie Manning, whose daughter Staff Sgt Sharron Elliott, 34, died when her boat was blown up near Basra in November 2006, said: “All I can say is haven’t we already lost enough and given enough? We’ve given our kids to them.

“I thought the idea of the Chilcot inquiry was to put our minds at rest by telling us what happened and to make sure it never happens again.”

Staff Sgt Sharron Elliott, killed in Iraq

Families have also been invited to attend inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot’s public statement when the report is published and will be able to read an embargoed copy.

Elsie, 70, of Marsden, South Shields, added: “I think there’s something in there they don’t want us to know, but they won’t get away with it.

“I wouldn’t even give them £20 for it because they’ve already taken part of me away. They’re not going to get financial gain as well.”

Relatives of the Iraq War dead have been invited to attend inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot’s public statement when the report is published on July 6, before which they will be able to read an embargoed copy and will be given an executive summary for free.

Elsie Manning, mother of Staff Sgt Sharron Elliott, who was killed in Iraq

They can also read a searchable version of the full report online for free, but had faced being charged for hard copies of the document.

The inquiry was set up in 2009 by then prime minister Gordon Brown after the withdrawal of the main body of British troops earlier that year.

It has examined the lead up to the 2003 invasion, and the years up to that 2009 withdrawal.

The report’s long-awaited publication follows 130 sessions of oral evidence and the testimony of more than 150 witnesses.

Elsie Manning, mother of Staff Sgt Sharron Elliott, who was killed in Iraq

The inquiry has analysed more than 150,000 government documents as well as other material related to the invasion.

Staff Sgt Sharron Elliott, killed in Iraq
Elsie Manning, mother of Staff Sgt Sharron Elliott, who was killed in Iraq