Government delays publication of Chilcot Report into Iraq War until after EU referendum

The delay was criticised by families of those who died during the eight-year occupation of Iraq between 2003 and 2011

Publication of the long delayed Iraq War inquiry report will reportedly be postponed until after the EU referendum, despite the fact that it will likely be handed to ministers next month. 

Expected to heavily criticise senior political figures, the inquiry’s chairman Sir John Chilcot said last October that he would hand in the report in the week beginning 18 April. 

Mr Cameron had previously suggested that he wanted to publish the report within two weeks of receiving it.  

But according to The Telegraph, it is feared that public trust in politicians could be significantly eroded by the six-year long inquiry and they do not wish to risk this ahead of the crucial 23 June vote.   

Votes on the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent and a third runway at Heathrow have already been postponed until after the crucial EU vote.  

The delay was criticised by families of those who died during the eight-year occupation of Iraq between 2003 and 2011. 

Reg Keys, who lost his 20-year-old son Lance Corporal Thomas Keys Thomas was killed in the conflict said it was “dragging out the agony of the families who want to draw a line under this.”

“I can see no reason why a referendum should have any bearing upon the publication of the Chilcot inquiry, none whatsoever,” he told The Telegraph. “I will be disappointed if this is another excuse for yet another delay for the referendum.”

Roger Bacon, whose son, Major Matthew Bacon, was killed in Basra in 2005, added that if the delay was a “political decision” then it is entirely wrong.

“There should be no artificial delay to it,” he told the paper. “To allow the referendum to get in the way of it seems to me to be completely wrong and smacks of political manoeuvrings that should not be taking place really.”

A spokesman for the Iraq War inquiry confirmed that Sir John was still planning to deliver his report in the week commencing April 18

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