Publish Chilcot report, says David Cameron

Prime Minister believes there is 'no excuse' for delaying the publication of the Iraq Inquiry's findings

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The Independent Online

David Cameron has called for the Iraq Inquiry to publish its report as soon as possible.

Mr Cameron has made it clear that the report into the war, led by Sir John Chilcot, should be published as soon as possible, The Mail on Sunday reported.  

A No 10 aide told the newspaper: “The PM believes there is no excuse for any further delay in publishing Chilcot.

“It would be unreasonable to postpone it beyond the next election.”

Former prime minister Tony Blair has been accused of attempting to delay the  publication of the report on Iraq.

Mr Blair is said to fear that the report will severely attack his handling of the conflict; he has been sent no detail from the inquiry on its contents and how he is portrayed.

A former Labour ally told The Mail on Sunday: “Since leaving Downing Street, Tony has managed to remain a big player on the world stage and use it to earn money, justifying it by doing good work at the same time.

“It has served him well, but it is  all starting to collapse. If Chilcot points the finger of blame squarely at him, which Blair himself knows full well it will, the whole edifice could crumble. That is why it is in his interest that Chilcot should be delayed for as long as possible.”

Last month The Independent disclosed that the £9m inquiry will not be published until 2015 – six years after it was ordered.

That could mean the next general election being fought against the backdrop of heavy criticism of the Blair government’s support for the US-led invasion of Iraq – an unnerving prospect for key advisers to the Labour leader, Ed Miliband.

A leading Labour figure, who will be among Mr Miliband’s closest confidants at the election, told The Independent the party would not want the “hurt and trauma” of Iraq to be revisited close to an election. He said the report held the potential to “remind the electorate of what went wrong” and the “fiasco on our watch that left a prime minister discredited”.

One of the main points of dispute in the report is private communications between then US President George Bush and Mr Blair.

Sir John wants the documents declassified and published in the final report.

He warned Mr Cameron last November that it was “regrettable” that a deal could not be agreed with the Cabinet Office on the disclosure of the communications sent in 2002 and 2003.

Mr Cameron said he hoped for a resolution “as soon as possible”.

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