David Davis comments across the papers on the need for the Chilcot report to be published


As reported in the Guardian:
‘Uproar’ if Chilcot report not released within fortnight, says David Davis

The former Conservative foreign minister David Davis has warned of “uproar” if the Chilcot report on the Iraq war is not released within a few weeks as he prepares to lead a Commons debate on the topic.

The Chilcot report is due to be handed to government officials on Monday, when national security checks will begin. Davis said there was no reason why the government should not complete the checks and publish the report within a fortnight.

Davis is to lead a backbench debate on Thursday as MPs seek to put pressure on ministers to ensure the long-awaited Iraq inquiry report is published promptly.

Labour MP Paul Flynn, who is supporting the debate, said there was “no excuse” to continue the “sinful and wicked” delay.

There have been suggestions the government could hold back the publication until after the EU referendum.

On Wednesday, Commons Speaker John Bercow criticised the lengthy wait for the report, saying it had become “exceptionally and excessively protracted”.

The Iraq inquiry chairman, Sir John Chilcot, began work more than six years ago but repeated delays have caused outrage among families of soldiers killed in the war.

Davis said: “A lot of the reason it’s delayed already is haggling over what they can and can’t use. If they weren’t security clearing at that time, I don’t quite know what they think they were doing.

“There’s really no argument for it taking any more than two weeks.
“I think we’ll win the battle. If not, frankly, there will be an uproar.”

He said it would be “inexplicable” for the government to delay the publication until after the EU referendum on 23 June.
“I cannot conceive why it should be delayed for that reason – it is inexplicable.

“It’s got no real relevance to Europe at all. Maybe it’s the government not wanting anything to rock the boat whilst this referendum is going on.”

Flynn, the member for Newport West, said: “We all want to get things settled and to be informed and to know the truth about these events which took place, in our lifetimes.

“The delay is sinful, damaging and wicked. The debate will be a chance to get some answers from the government.”

As reported by Press Association:
Iraq Inquiry Delays ‘Probably Did Cost Lives’

People have `probably’ died as a result of the ongoing delays in publishing the Iraq Inquiry report because politicians have not learned from the mistakes of the war, MPs have been told.

Senior Conservative David Davis said recent decisions about intervention in Libya, Syria and Iraq were made without proper knowledge of the controversial 2003 choice to go to war.

As a result bad decisions have been made which have probably cost lives, the former foreign minister said.

The long-awaited Chilcot report into Iraq is due to be handed to Government officials on Monday, when national security checks will begin.

Mr Davis and other MPs are calling for it to be published in the first week of May.

Opening a backbench debate on the inquiry, he told the Commons: `There are lessons to be learned from the Iraq War about our foreign policy, about our political decisions to go to war and about our military operations.

`The longer we leave it the less useful these lessons will be and the more likely it is that we will make the same mistakes.

`A decision such as those that were made in Libya, Syria and Iraq are made without the knowledge or facts, mistakes are made, and sometimes people die as a result.

`It’s not hyperbole to say delay to the Iraq Inquiry could cost lives because bad decisions could be made – I would go further, I’d say it probably did cost lives because bad decisions were made.’

Mr Davis dismissed as `outrageous’ suggestions the report may now be delayed until after the June 23 EU referendum, given that Prime Minister David Cameron has said security vetting should only take two weeks.

He stressed that the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday, which took years to complete, was published after two weeks of vetting.

Mr Davis went on: `So I cannot believe that the clearance will take any longer than this, given as we already know every single piece of this report has already been negotiated with Whitehall, presumably on the basis of security considerations.’

He added: `The public ought to expect publication of the report in the first week of May, that should be the reasonable conclusion, but this is not the case.

`There are now reports that the publication of the report is going to be postponed until after the EU referendum at the end of June.
`This is frankly outrageous.’

The inquiry was set up in 2009 by then-prime minister Gordon Brown and its final round of hearings took place in 2011.

As reported in the Daily Telegraph
Chilcot Inquiry must be published before EU referendum, families of soldiers killed in Iraq warn

David Cameron must publish the Chilcot Inquiry findings before the EU referendum, the families of those who died in the Iraq War will demand on Thursday as they criticise “unacceptable” delays.

Relatives of British soldiers who passed away in the fighting will accuse ministers of treating them like “political pawns” ahead of a debate in Parliament.

Politicians will also warn that the delay in revealing the failings in the run-up to Iraq could be undermining our preparation for future interventions in the Middle East.

The calls will come as MPs and victims’ families gather in Westminster ahead of a parliamentary debate on the publication of the Chilcot Inquiry.

There is fury at reports that the government has decided to push back publication of the long-awaited inquiry until after the vote on Britain’s EU membership.

The inquiry, set up more than six and a half years ago by Gordon Brown, has now produced a draft report due to be vetted by British spies for national security purposes.

However despite the process due to be completed by mid-May the document is not expected to be revealed to the public until late summer.

Reg Keys, whose son died in an ambush in Iraq in 2003, called on the Prime Minister to publish the findings before the EU referendum.

“There’s no reason why this can’t all be compiled and made ready for publication in the first half of May. I believe the Prime Minister will sit on it until after the EU referendum and that is unacceptable,” Mr Keys told The Telegraph.

“There have been so many false dawns. … It is delay after delay. We just feel like we are political pawns, the families of the fallen and wounded. To hold it back until after the referendum is just putting Iraq on the backburner again.”

Matthew Jury, a lawyer at McCue and Partners representing 29 families of soldiers killed in Iraq, criticised waiting until the summer to publish given security checks will be completed by early May.

He said: “How can the Inquiry be seriously proposing that they need a further three months to get it ‘ready for publication’? The Families, and the British public, deserve better.”

“The EU referendum has nothing to do to do with Chilcot. It shouldn’t even be coming into the conversation.”

David Davis, the former Tory shadow home secretary who will be leading the debate, warned that repeated delays in publication were failing the families of the fallen.

He said: “This has got to the point of cruelty to the families, frankly. We love to say time and time again how much we respect and honour our soldiers.

“If we do, shouldn’t we respect and honour their families, loved ones and children who have been put through the mill by this? They need closure.”