Sir John and team to visit Iraq to hear 'Iraqi perspectives'

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The last announcement made by the committee conducting Sir John Chilcot's inquiry yesterday was that it intends to visit Iraq later this year.

Sir John said he wanted to hear "Iraqi perspectives" and see for himself the "consequences" of UK involvement in the conflict.

After the final public hearing at which the former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott gave evidence, Sir John said earlier witnesses could be recalled if there were "conflicts or gaps" in the evidence and repeated his intention to publish his report this year.

Almost seven months of public hearings have now passed. Sir John said the committee would begin to "integrate and analyse" the information as it began the process of writing the report. He stressed that the final document would be "full, thorough, evidence-based and frank".

In May, members of the inquiry embarked on a five-day visit to the US to take evidence from American officials and military figures. The meetings took place in private.

The inquiry has also taken evidence from a number of senior French officials and politicians, including Dominique de Villepin, who was the French foreign minister at the time.

However, neither the American nor the French meetings were treated as formal sessions and no transcripts of what was said will be produced.