Gordon Brown's Iraq Inquiry date set

By Sam Marsden,Press Association
Monday 22 February 2010 16:18

Gordon Brown will give evidence to the Iraq Inquiry next week, it was announced today.

He will be questioned about his time as both chancellor and Prime Minister when he appears as a witness between 10am and 3.30pm on Friday March 5, the inquiry said in a statement.

International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander will give evidence after him on the same day.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Sir Bill Jeffrey, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence since 2005, will appear before the inquiry on Monday March 8.

Mr Brown was originally due to give his testimony after the general election because inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot did not want the public hearings to be used as a "political platform".

But following mounting political pressure, the Prime Minister wrote to Sir John last month offering to appear earlier.

Mr Brown will be questioned about claims made by top commanders that the armed forces were under-funded by the Treasury while he was chancellor.

Sir Kevin Tebbit, the former top civil servant at the Ministry of Defence, told the inquiry that he had to run a "crisis budget" and criticised the Prime Minister for "guillotining" military spending six months after the March 2003 Iraq invasion.

Audience seats for Mr Brown's appearance before the inquiry, which is sitting at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in central London, are being allocated by public ballot.

The results of the ballot will be announced later this week.

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