Thursday, 30 July 2009

This is not the Iraq inquiry the nation wanted to see

William Hague has warned that the inquiry into the Iraq War announced today by Sir John Chilcot will not be the “the inquiry that the nation wanted to see”.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary condemned the “worrying new caveat” that sessions will be held in private not just when national security is concerned but also when there is a need for candour.

And he stressed, “If there are difficult truths to be told they should be told in the light of day, not behind closed doors. It would be unacceptable if sessions are held in private simply because Ministers or former Ministers, including Tony Blair, want to avoid embarrassment.”

William also said it was “disappointing” that the membership of the Inquiry still lacks cabinet or military experience:

“Drawing on outside military experts is not the same as having a heavyweight Committee member who has high level military experience. And it still remains the case that no one on the Inquiry has had experience of cabinet.”

He stressed, “Despite Sir John’s best efforts this is still not the Inquiry that the nation wanted to see, and it is a classic illustration of Gordon Brown’s lack of openness in Government that it has been announced too late to report before the General Election.”

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