Inquiry date set for release of Chilcot report into Iraq war
The long-awaited inquiry into the Iraq war will finally be published in July after an agreement by the Prime Minister and the report's author.
Wednesday July 6 has been announced as the date after security checks on the 2.6m word report were completed.
The date has been been agreed by both the Prime Minister David Cameron and the inquiry's head Sir John Chilcot.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Sir John said: "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."He added: "This will allow suitable time for the Inquiry to prepare the 2.6 million word report for publication, including final proof reading, formatting, printing and the steps required for electronic publication."
Mr Cameron told the Inquiry head last November that he was "disappointed'' about the length of time it was taking to release the findings and urged him to ''expedite'' the final stages. Its publication will come 1,981 days after the inquiry ended.Conservative former frontbencher David Davis last month claimed that lives had "probably'' been lost as a result of the delays because Britain had made recent interventions in Libya, Syria and Iraq without proper knowledge of the controversial 2003 choice to go to war.Publication was delayed by a process known as Maxwellisation, under which those who may face criticism are given the opportunity to respond before publication.Tony Blair denied last year that he was responsible for the hold-ups. More than 150 witnesses gave evidence to the Inquiry and more than 130 sessions of oral evidence were held.It has analysed more than 150,000 government documents as well as other material related to the invasion.
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The Inquiry was set up in 2009 by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown to examine the lead up to the invasion from summer 2001 to the withdrawal of the main body of British troops earlier that year.