Setting a deadline on the Iraq Inquiry would 'wreck' it, says committee chair

Crispin Blunt said the Chilcott Inquiry needed to be left alone

Jon Stone
Thursday 27 August 2015 08:48
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Any attempt to set a deadline on the Chilcott Inquiry into the Iraq War would “wreck” its findings, an influential MP has said.

Crispin Blunt, the chair of Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said the inquiry was nearly done and suggested that a deadline would undermine its independent nature.

“We can [set a deadline], and then we can wreck the inquiry in the process,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Crispin Blunt, foreign affairs committee chair

“The inquiry which is independent and sets its own procedure has determined how it is going to conduct itself.”

A Parliament-imposed deadline was suggested earlier this month by former shadow home secretary David Davis.

Mr Blunt, a Conservative MP, said he believed the six-year inquiry was “without a doubt” in its final “ten percent” of time and that it would be prudent to wait.

“In that sense we would be getting very impatient – understandably, as far as the families are concerned,” he added.

But speaking on the same programme, Roger Bacon, whose son was killed in the line of duty in Iraq, said families would take legal action against the inquiry.

“A six-year inquiry for a six-year war is just not on,” he said. “It seems to us that the only way of getting on with this is to take some kind of legal action and our lawyers will advise us to exactly what we should do.”

The invasion of Iraq was launched in 2003. The Chilcot Inquiry into the invasion and its run-up was announced in 2009.

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