Sir John Chilcot, chairman of the Iraq inquiry, said today that he expects to complete his report next April and publish it in either June or July 2016.
The Iraq Inquiry, also referred to as the Chilcot Inquiry after its chairman, Sir John Chilcot, is a public inquiry into the nation’s role in the Iraq War. The inquiry was announced in 2009 by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, with an initial announcement that proceedings would take place in private, a decision which was subsequently reversed after receiving criticism in the media and the House of Commons.
The inquiry covered the run-up to the conflict, the subsequent military action and its aftermath with the purpose to establish the way decisions were made, to determine what happened and to identify lessons to ensure that in a similar situation in future, the British government is equipped to respond in the most effective manner.
Sir John Chilcot said in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron:
“My colleagues and I estimate that we will be able to complete the text of our report in the week commencing 18 April 2016. At that point, national security checking of its contents can begin.”
Chilcot said due to the length of the report being more than 2 million words in total, it would then take many weeks to prepare for printing, meaning publicationw ill take place in June or July of next year.
The inquiry heard evidence from a variety of witnesses, such as politicians, including several cabinet ministers at the time of the invasion; senior civil servants, including lawyers and intelligence chiefs; diplomats, mostly composed of British ambassadors to Iraq and the United States; and high-ranking military officers including former Chiefs of the General Staff and Chiefs of the Defence Staff as well as senior operational commanders.