UK Politics

Iraq Inquiry: Timetable 'might be published by November'

Sir John Chilcot Image copyright PA

Sources close to the Iraq Inquiry have indicated chairman Sir John Chilcot may write to David Cameron with a timetable for his report before 3 November.

The sources would give no guidance on the precise date.

Any correspondence is unlikely to be published on the inquiry's website until the prime minister replies.

Sir John - who began his work in 2009 - has faced criticism for the length of time it is taking to produce the report.

He said he received the last of the responses to his findings from those facing criticism in September.

'Right judgment'

That concluded the so-called "Maxwellisation" process that was partly causing the report's delay.

During a House of Lords debate on the Chilcot inquiry on Thursday, former Labour law officer Lord Morris repeated criticism of the delay in producing the report.

He pointed out that the Franks report into the Falklands War took six months, and said: "Justice delayed is justice denied."

The peer also cautioned that Sir John's decision to produce a timetable did not mean he would simultaneously produce a date for publication.

Conservative peer Lord Finkelstein and Lib Dem peer Baroness Williams did not support pressure to speed up the inquiry.

Lord Finkelsten said "if Sir John is choosing depth over deadline, he is making the right judgment", while Baroness Williams said "getting to the truth is more important".

Former cabinet secretary Lord Butler - who chaired the inquiry into the intelligence behind the Iraq conflict - said of the Chilcot inquiry: "Judge it by its outcome, and be patient until that outcome is delivered."

More on this story