Iraq War Inquiry: Chilcott has finally received responses from people the report criticises

Those painted in a negative light have submitted 'detailed and substantial' responses

Jon Stone
Wednesday 09 September 2015 12:26

The Chilcott Inquiry into the Iraq War has received the final responses from the people the report is set to criticise, the commission’s chair has said.

Sir John Chilcott has been waiting for the so-called ‘Maxwellisation’ process to conclude, a measure that involves giving everyone mentioned in a negative light a chance to respond.

“In my statement I said that the Inquiry expected to receive the last Maxwell response shortly. I am pleased to confirm that it has now done so," Sir John wrote in a letter to the Foreign Affairs Committee chair Crispin Blunt.

However, he said the responses received by those criticised were so comprehensive that it would take time to sift through them.

No timetable has yet been set for completion of the report, which was set up in 2009 as an inquiry into a war that started in 2003.

“There is, inevitably, further work for my colleagues and I to do to evaluate those submissions, which are detailed and substantial, in order to establish with confidence the time needed to complete the Inquiry’s remaining work,” he said.

“As soon as I am able to I shall write to the Prime Minister with a timetable for publication of the Inquiry’s report.”

Mr Blunt warned last month that setting a deadline on the inquiry would “wreck” its independence.

“The inquiry which is independent and sets its own procedure has determined how it is going to conduct itself,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme at the time.

The term “Maxwellisation” comes from the name of the publisher Robert Maxwell, who set a legal precedent after he took issue with a government report.

Those expected to be criticised in the report include former prime minister Tony Blair and those close to him.

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