The chairman of the Iraq inquiry has admitted that the publication of his report has taken "longer than expected" as he prepares to face MPs next week to explain its delay.
Sir John Chilcot made the comments as he accepted an invitation to give evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee on the progress of the inquiry on Wednesday 4 February. He said: “My colleagues and I have served as members of this inquiry longer than any of us expected would be necessary.”
The inquiry into the Iraq war and its aftermath completed its last hearing in February 2011 with the intent to report back in “some months”. Last week Sir John revealed that there was “no realistic prospect” of the final report being published before the general election on 7 May – a move that has prompted fury and calls of an established cover up.
The issues addressed were “complex and controversial”, Sir John said. “We are conscious of our responsibility - to the public and to all those whose lives have been deeply affected by the events we are examining - to discharge our duty thoroughly, impartially and fairly.”
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