Vital documents remain secret
Tony Blair's long-awaited appearance at the Iraq inquiry looked set to be hampered last night after the Government refused to declassify crucial documents relating to his decision to take Britain to war.
The failure to release the papers led to calls yesterday for the inquiry to be suspended. While Sir John Chilcot's team have been handed all the documents, they are unable to quote from classified material and may have to restrict questioning.
Security around Westminster's QEII conference centre, where the inquiry is taking place – and at Mr Balir's central London home – will be beefed up today to combat protests planned for the appearance of Mr Blair. Negotiations between the police and protesters broke down yesterday, with the organisers of the demonstration told that they cannot gather on land outside the conference centre as it is private property. It is expected that the protesters will be directed to a street nearby.
The missing documents feature prominently in the questions that Mr Blair is expected to face. The inquiry team are planning to ask about a series of secret letters he sent to President Bush in 2002, apparently pledging that British troops would "be there" if military action became necessary.
Other key documents yet to be released include memos written by Mr Blair's foreign policy adviser, Sir David Manning. A draft of legal advice given to Mr Blair by his Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, also remains classified. "If a short adjournment is necessary to ensure that this vital information is declassified, then this should be considered," said Ed Davey, the Foreign Affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats.
Downing Street said yesterday that the Prime Minister had not blocked the publication of the documents, insisting that he was determined to make the inquiry as open as possible. No 10 said Gordon Brown was powerless to intervene to have them released.
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...