With David Cameron blaming the Labour party for the controversial decision to delay publication of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War until after the May general election, it was only wise to question the man who took the country to war.

Tony Blair was asked by reporters about the delay to the inquiry as he left a building at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"I’ve put out a statement, go and see it," Blair responds as he heads towards his car. Several reporters continue to follow him and ask questions such as "Did you cause the delay?" and "Do voters have a right to know the contents of the report before the general election?"

Eventually, as he nears his car, he turns around and repeats, in a somewhat irritated tone, "I've just told you. I've put out a statement so you can go and read the statement."

The statement released by Blair's office read, "While we do not intend to provide a running commentary on the process involved in the publication of the report, it is important to state the following for the sake of clarity. We have repeatedly said that it is not true to say that Tony Blair has caused the delay in the report’s publication."

 

 

MPs expressed anger over the latest delay, with the Prime Minister pointing the finger of blame at the Labour Government headed by Gordon Brown. Cameron told the inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot: “Had the previous Government established this inquiry when I first called for it, we would not be in this position today. But that cannot now be undone.”

At Prime Minister's Questions, Hackney MP Dianne Abbott and others questioned the time Sir John had taken to deliver his report, calling it a “scandal” that was threatening public confidence in the inquiry system.

Mr Cameron said that it was not up to him to decide the timing of an independent report, but added: “My feeling is there is no mystery as to why it is taking so long, it is a very thorough report and you have to follow the proper processes.

“I don't believe anyone is trying to dodge this report or put off this report.”

The debate in the Commons came after Sir John confirmed that his investigation would not be completed before the election.

Comments