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Summary

  1. Sir John Chilcot's Iraq War inquiry report is published after seven years
  2. Inquiry set up in June 2009 to look into run-up to US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath

Live Reporting

By Jo Perry

All times stated are UK

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The Iraq Inquiry report has been responded to by politicians, bereaved relatives and former PM Tony Blair

The Iraq Inquiry report spans almost a decade of UK government policy decisions between 2001 and 2009.

It was written by Sir John Chilcot and published on 6 July and covered;

  • the background to the decision to go to war
  • whether troops were properly prepared
  • how the conflict was conducted 
  • and what planning there was for its aftermath, a period in which there was intense sectarian violence.

The conflict resulted in the deaths of 179 UK servicemen, 19 of whom came from Scotland.

Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was the youngest to be killed in the war, said she wanted to meet Tony Blair.

He was the UK prime minister at the time of the conflict in 2003.

Sir John has spoken, so too has Mr Blair. Politicians and bereaved relatives of servicemen have also commented in light of the report.   

There's continuing live coverage of reaction to Chilcot on the BBC News website.

Blair: 'I don't believe we are safer today than we were back then'

Tony Blair
BBC

What I've tried to do today is to explain why I acted as I did and in the end what more can I do than say to people 'this is why I took the decision as I did and if you disagree with me fine, but please stop saying I was lying or I had some sort of dishonest or underhand motive'. I had the motives I explained and the reason I can't depart from the decision is I look at what's happening in the world today and I'm afraid I do not believe that we are safer today than we were back then."

Chilcot report makes public a number of messages from Tony Blair to George Bush

The letters released include one about "brilliant speech" which showed the US president had the right strategy to "get the job done".

Handwritten letter from Blair to Bush
Reuters

Tony Blair thinks about his decisions on going to war in Iraq every day

Blair: They want me to 'apologise for the decision. I can't do that'.

Tony Blair
BBC

If I was back in the same place, with the same information, I would take the same decision. Obviously that's the decision I believed was right. Obviously, I'm saying today, because some of the intelligence has turned out to be wrong, the planning wasn't done properly, I have to accept those criticisms, I accept responsibility for them. But I think people want me to go one step further, and this is my problem, it's a very fundamental problem, and I know it causes a lot of difficulty even with people who might support me otherwise, they say 'no, we want you to apologise for the decision'. I can't do that.

Blair: 'The mistakes on planning and process I absolutely acknowledge'

The mistakes on planning and process I absolutely acknowledge and I accept responsibility and I'm not passing the responsibility off to someone else. I accept full responsibility for those mistakes. But it's not inconsistent with that to say that I believe we took the right decision.

Tony Blair
BBC

Watch: 'Sorrow, regret, apology' from Blair

Tony Blair has said that he takes "full responsibility" for the decisions that led to the UK's involvement in the 2003 Iraq War.

Mr Blair said he expressed "more sorrow, regret and apology" than people could ever know

The former prime minister was giving his reaction the the publication of the long-awaited Chilcot report. 

Blair: 'No where in this report do they say what would have happened' without invasion

The former prime minister acknowledged that groups like the so-called Islamic State and al-Qaeda thrived in areas of the world that had become ungovernable.

However, he said that while Sir John Chilcot had written the report, it was not he who had been in the position to make the decision about the invasion.

I agree that when you leave that space ungovernable, that is where terrorism breeds. But non intervention can also lead to those spaces being created - partial intervention can lead to those space being created. The one thing that I've got to say about this report and I say this with respect, it's the difference between people writing a report and people taking decisions, no where in this report do they say what would have happened if they had taken the decision...not advocated but implied.

Tony Blair
BBC

Don't call me a liar, says Tony Blair after publication of the Chilcot report

Tony Blair denies he gave George W Bush 'blank cheque to invade Iraq

Tony Blair
BBC

The former prime minister was asked if his assertion that he offered his support to the Americans "whatever" meant he gave them a black cheque for invasion.

Mr Blair insisted he told the Americans that he was with them but that they needed to pursue redress in the UN.

I was absolutely clear, and I think even the words that continue after that statement in the memorandum, that I then explain all the difficulties. This isn't like Kosovo and Afghanistan and why we need to proceed with enormous care. the whole purpose of what I was doing was making it clear I was going to be with the Americans in dealing with this - that was absolutely clear I said this in evidence to the inquiry, but we needed to go down the UN route

Tony BlairFormer Prime Minister

ANALYSIS: The questions that follow the Chilcot Inquiry report

Brian Taylor

BBC Scotland Political Editor

Sir John Chilcot's compendious and coruscating report into the Iraq War and its aftermath has, inevitably, generated further questions. Could/should the conflict have been prevented? What went wrong with equipping the troops? Why was aftermath planning, according to Sir John, so limited? And more. 

Lessons have been identified - but will they be learned? Will the culture of the British state, military and civilian, regenerate fully? 

David Cameron reckons the answer to both questions is yes. And more. Will there now be action taken against any individual identified in the report? Against Tony Blair?

 The lawyer for families who lost loved ones in the conflict says legal action is possible but will require further, detailed consideration. 

Alex Salmond says Tony Blair is responsible - and political and legal consequences must now be contemplated.

Read more from Brian Taylor

SNP argue that Chilcot report shows former Prime Minister Tony Blair must face 'a reckoning'

Tony Blair: 'I can look not just the families, but the nation in the eye'

I can look not just the families, but the nation in the eye and say I did not mislead this country. I made the decision in good faith on the information I had at the time and I believe that it is better that we took that decision.

Tony BlairFormer prime minister
Tony Blair
BBC

The former Labour politician supposes a different outcome

Tony Blair
BBC

Mr Blair says: "Suppose he [Saddam] remained in power, is it likely he would be in power in 2011 at the time of the Arab state uprising? Is it likely that Iraq would have joined the Arab spring and is it likely if the Iraqi people had revolted and there had been an uprising Saddam would have reacted like Assad in Syria?"

The former politician says that all of those question would be "affirmative."

What is happening in Syria today would have happened in Iraq too. We should be thankful we are not dealing with Saddam and his two sons now.

Tony BlairFormer Labour PM

Declassified document indicates Prime Minister Tony Blair was considering military action by 2001

Among many documents made public as a result of the Chilcot inquiry is a memo from December 2001 in which Tony Blair considers the possibility of military action.

Memo from December 2001
BBC

The legal basis of the war is examined by Mr Blair

Mr Blair gets into the legal question, he says if the "politics is in question, the legalities are also".

He speaks of the role of the Attorney General, the Cabinet and parliament. Mr Blair adds that he "accepts, of course, it is better politically if the Security Council of the UN" makes the key decisions, but those conditions and the basis for agreement were not there. 

Tony Blair
BBC

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader says report 'shines bright light on dark period'

Willie Rennie said the Chilcot report showed the "utter failure" of Tony Blair's government in decision-making, preparation and execution of the Iraq war.

He added: "This thorough report shines a bright light on this dark period of our country's impact on the world."

He also paid tribute to former UK Liberal Democrat leader, the late Charles Kennedy, who had spoken up against the invasion in 2003.

Willie Rennie
BBC

When Charles Kennedy led opposition to the conflict he did so based on analysis of the evidence with a considerable degree of caution. Perhaps if Tony Blair and his government had adopted the same analysis and caution then we may not have seen the failure that was the Iraq war.

Willie RennieScottish Liberal Democrat leader

Blair focuses on the UK's alliance with US and the issue of WMD

Tony Blair
BBC

Mr Blair defends the alliance the UK has with the US. he says the partnership has worked in many cases before. "People can disagree with that, but I believed it as PM," the former Labour leader adds.

He moves on to Weapons of Mass Destruction and points to "authoritative" reports that did, in the early 2000s, indicate Iraq having such a dangerous arsenal.

The Iraq war was going to move 'with or without us', Mr Blair explains

Tony Blair talks about an "impasse" with the United Nations on agreeing a new resolution to challenge the Iraqi regime. He details dates and explains his thinking in the build up to March 2003, the start of the invasion.

I had no option to delay, I had to decided, I thought of Saddam, his record, his regime, our alliance with America and I weighed it carefully, I tool this decision with the heaviest of hearts."

Tony BlairFormer British Prime Minister
Tony Blair
BBC

Blair makes plea: 'Put yourself in my shoes'

Tony Blair urges the audience before him: "Put yourself in my shoes as PM, back then in 2001 you see the intelligence on WMD, you see the changed context of mass casualties of terrorism, you consider the possibility of 9/11 here and your prime responsibility as PM is to protect your country."

Tony Blair
BBC

09/11 terrorist attack changed the world, says Mr Blair

Tony Blair
BBC

Mr Blair explains that the attack on the Twin Towers building in New York in 2001 created conditions which led to the Iraq war two years later.

He told the new conference "we were in a new world".

Blair rejects criticism of key organisations

I do not think it fair or accurate to criticise the armed forces, intelligence service or civil service - they were acting on my decision."

Tony BlairFormer Prime Minister of Britain
Tony Blair
BBC

Blair says he does not regret seeing Saddam Hussien's going

Tony Blair
BBC

Former Labour PM Mr Blair believes that if Saddam had remained in power he would have "threatened world peace". He also believes that those who fought in the war did not "die in vain". 

Former PM Tony Blair: 'I accept full responsibility'

Former British PM Tony Blair has said he accepted "full responsibility" for the decisions made about going to war in Iraq in 2003. He added that he understood the grief related to the civilians who had died in Iraq and the 179 British servicemen - 19 from Scotland - who were also killed. 

Tony Blair
BBC

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair makes a statement in response to the Chilcot report

SNP spokesman Alex Salmond wins measure of agreement from Prime Minister on accountability for Iraq

BBC correspondent Norman Smith says many of the relatives are impressed with the Chilcot report

Lord Foulkes says Chilcot has dismissed some of 'the more outrageous attacks' on Tony Blair

George Foulkes MP in 2003
BBC

Lord Foulkes insisted the Chilcot findings lay to rest many of the accusations made against the Blair government over Iraq.

He said: "There are lessons to be learned from it.

"But it was clear that some of the more outrageous attacks and criticisms of Tony Blair, that there was a secret agreement with Bush, and that the war was illegal are not borne out by Chilcot."

Your views: Criticism of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock's interview on BBC Radio Scotland

Former Labour MP George Foulkes: voting for Iraq invasion 'seemed the right thing to do'

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, who as George Foulkes MP voted in favour of the Iraq invasion, has been defending Tony Blair and his government. 

George Foulkes MP in 2003
bbc

He said: "I think it was the right thing to do given the information we had at the time.

"Just as we intervened in Kosovo to protect the Kosovans. Just as we intervened in Sierra Leone to protect people in Sierra Leone.

"It seemed the right thing to do at the time."

Liberal Democrat leader calls for apology for late Charles Kennedy over war opposition attacks

Tim Farron said his predecessor deserved an apology in the wake of the Chilcot report.

Charles Kennedy
BBC

He said Sir John's findings "utterly vindicated" Mr Kennedy, who was accused of taking an "opportunistic" approach in his opposition to the 2003 invasion.

Mr Farron said: "My overriding impression is Charles Kennedy utterly vindicated. Those who attacked him at the time and his family and indeed our country, [own him] an apology."

Watch: Scottish military deaths during Iraq campaign

Nineteen Scottish servicemen died during the campaign that the UK’s decision to join the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Many were killed by roadside bombs or in clashes with insurgents while on patrol; others died as a result of accidents and natural causes

The long-awaited Chilcot Report found that there had been no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein before the war and that the circumstances, for the UK's military involvement, were far from satisfactory.

'I would like to see Tony Blair in court. I think what he's done is appalling'

What we have today is some answers. I think what we need to achieve is some justice for some of the real people who have been affected and devastated by this. I was interested to here what the military families were saying this morning because they are certainly hinting at taking some legal advice and looking for legal avenue there. for me, my personal opinion, I would like to see Tony Blair in court. I think what's he's done is appalling I think what Chilcot said about the benefit of hindsight is very telling - you didn't need hindsight to see that this was wrong.

Nicola FisherGlasgow's Stop the War Coalition
Banner outside Tony Blair's house in London
PA

Watch: 'Blair responsible for murdering my son'

The mother of a soldier killed in the Iraq War says she holds Tony Blair responsible for the murder of her son.   

Rose Gentle said she wanted to know why the former Labour prime minister sent her son to Iraq.

Fusilier Gordon Gentle was one of 19 UK servicemen killed in the campaign following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.The long-awaited Chilcot Report found that there had been no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein before the war and that the circumstances, for the UK's military involvement, were far from satisfactory.  

Angus Robertson tells Commons 'same lack of planning' in Iraq still evident

Prime Minister's Questions

House of Commons

Parliament

The SNP leader at Westminster said mistakes continued to be made.

He asked David Cameron during Prime Minister's Questions: "The Chilcot report catalogues the failures in planning for post-conflict Iraq and concludes that 'the UK did not achieve its objectives'. That lack of planning has also been evident in relation to Afghanistan, to Libya, to Syria and most recently with no plan whatsoever for Brexit, When will the UK government actually start learning from the mistakes of the past so that we're not condemned to repeat them in the future?

Angus Robertson
BBC

Mr Cameron acknowledged the findings of Chilcot but questioned whether it was ever possible to achieve a "perfect" outcome.

He said: "There is actually no set of arrangements and plans that can provide perfection in these cases. Military intervention - wee can argue if it is ever justified - I believe it is. Military intervention is always difficult, planning for the aftermath of military intervention, that is always difficult and I don't think in this house we should be naive in any way that a perfect set of plans or a perfect set of arrangements can solve these problems in perpetuate, there aren't."

Patrick Harvie says Chilcot findings justify widespread public anger over unnecessary loss of life

The co-convener of the Scottish Greens said the 100,000 people who marched in Glasgow in 2003 against the war had been proven correct.

Patrick Harvie
BBC

He added: "Today's report is a damning indictment of Tony Blair and his blinkered, sickening devotion to George Bush's warmongering.

"Chilcot makes clear that peaceful options had not been exhausted, the legal basis for invasion was not satisfactory, the intelligence was flawed and that the risks of unleashing terrorism were clear before the invasion took place."

Rose Gentle: I would ask Tony Blair 'why did you kill my son, send my son to be killed?'

Rose Gentle's son Gordon, who was from Glasgow - was killed by a roadside bomb while serving in Basra in 2004.

She said that given the chance, she would look Tony Blair in the eye and ask him why he had sent her son to his death.

Rose Gentle
BBC

"Years ago we did ask to meet him and he walked away, so this is his opportunity to come and speak to the families now."

She added: "We've proved him wrong because everything that we've said from the start has actually came out today, and I think he thought 'they're going to give up and walk away."

Asked what she would say to the former prime minister, Ms Gentle said: "Why did you kill my son, send my son to be killed? Because I hold him responsible for the murder of my son."

Tony Blair: I took decision to go to war in 'good faith' and best interests of country

From BBC Scotland's Westminster correspondent

Rose Gentle: 'What's been confirmed today has really gut-wrenched us'

Today, what we've been hearing and what we've been reading has been really hard and I think that's why there's a lot of mothers and fathers that's been in tears today. A lot of us have held it back for weeks and what's been confirmed today has really gut-wrenched a lot of us.

Rose GentleSon killed in Iraq
Rose Gentle
BBC

Rose Gentle's son Gordon, who was from Glasgow - was killed by a roadside bomb while serving in Basra in 2004.