Farron: Chilcott delay “simply not good enough”

The BBC says that the Chilott Inquiry into the Iraq war may now not report until next year, a full 13 years since the misguided and ill-fated invasion.

A source close to the inquiry, which began in 2009, told Newsnight “nobody thinks it will come out this year”. An inquiry spokesman declined to comment.

British forces lost 179 personnel during the conflict, of whom 136 were killed in action.

By 31 August 2010, when the last US combat troops left, 4,421 US personnel had been killed, of whom 3,492 were killed in action. Almost 32,000 had been wounded in action.

Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians also died as a result of sectarian killings and a violent insurgency.

The inquiry was commissioned by the previous government to investigate the background to UK involvement in the Iraq War, which began when Tony Blair was prime minister.

The Liberal Democrats have long called for its swift publication. Foreign affairs spokesman Tim Farron was not impressed with this further delay:

In 2003 Britain was led by the Labour Party with Conservative support into a war with Iraq which many people in our country believe was illegal. The speculation that Sir John Chilcot’s report into the Iraq War may now not be published until 2016 is deeply concerning. Liberal Democrats opposed the war in Iraq, and pushed for this inquiry to be held. Hundreds of thousands of families have had their lives torn apart by the Iraq war and deserve answers. It is simply not good enough for this process to be continually delayed and the report must be published.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • Do the Liberal Democrats not believe that those criticised in Chilcott drafts have the right to have their responses considered by the inquiry before publication?

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 21st Apr '15 - 11:44am

    Not forever, no.

  • 13 years isn’t forever…

  • g – producing a draft version for people to comment on by a deadline, considering all responses, and then producing a final version is bread and butter in public life. Think consultations such as boundary reviews, any council’s budget, government consultations on legislation or procedures, planning applications etc. – they all follow this process.

    I am left wondering whether Chilcot is out of his depth in being unable to carry this out.

  • A Social Liberal 21st Apr '15 - 12:35pm

    Is Chilcott publishing later than Saville? As I understand it the latter took five years from the last witness to going into print and THAT report did not have the sensitivities that this one does.

  • Roland, Chilcott started about 6 years ago. Not 13 years, and not actually that long for a complex inquiry. Inquiries into Hillsborough are still ongoing, and that is a much simpler situation.

    Caron, do the Lib Dems believe justice should be fair, or not? If you do, then on what grounds do you reject the right of those accused in the Chilcott inquiry to defend themselves properly?

  • Peter Hayes 21st Apr '15 - 8:44pm

    g – how long would a judge in a criminal case allow the defence to prepare the case and why should this be different? Should not those referred to be expected to justify delays in front of a judge?

  • g – My mistake in not properly reading the article. But even so not a long-time (which was my point).

    My family has recently gained comfort (and some wry amusement) from the release of some FCO papers dating from the 1950’s, unfortunately not in time for the person concerned to be told the true nature of the events he was directly involved in, but in time for the facts to be presented at his funeral.

  • Peter Hayes

    g – how long would a judge in a criminal case allow the defence to prepare the case and why should this be different? Should not those referred to be expected to justify delays in front of a judge?

    This isn’t a criminal inquiry for a start, but I take the point and it is reasonable to ask for justification for delays. I still think it would be unreasonable, and unjust, to rush to publish without allowing people to defend themselves properly.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 12th Nov - 7:07am
    Keith Browning: Meanwhile at the coalface, while canvassing in the #1 Tory-held Lib Dem target seat in the country (Richmond Park), I came across a...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 11th Nov - 11:05pm
    Cathy M, you're right, the third reason why this election is an unsatisfactory way of promoting the Remain cause is because the two main parties...
  • User AvatarGeoff Payne 11th Nov - 11:05pm
    Thanks for posting this, Caron. As you know the Federal Elections are presently underway. Before reading the article, I had already agreed with the other...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 11th Nov - 10:56pm
    Jayne Mansfield, To me, the primary problem with Corbyn's approach to Brexit is that it's just too late to consider it. We have already had...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 11th Nov - 10:19pm
    Some lines do not scan well. For example, instead of “Demonstrate the strength of the British/Backing all MPs doing right”, why not “Showing the strength...
  • User AvatarYeovil Yokel 11th Nov - 9:55pm
    Would it be possible to post this video on You Tube or the main Lib Dem website, as I can't play it on my PC...