UK Politics

Chilcot: Hague hopes for 2015 date for Iraq Inquiry

Sir John Chilcot Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir John Chilcot's inquiry has been involved in negotiations with the Cabinet Office about what can be published

William Hague has said he "hopes" the Iraq Inquiry report will be published before the 2015 general election.

It was thought that the Chilcot inquiry into the run-up to the 2003 invasion and its aftermath might report once hearings ended in 2011.

But more than three years later, there is still no sign of it, amid disputes over the release of some documents.

Mr Hague told MPs he had no say in it but hoped it would be released "in the not too distant future".

The leader of the House of Commons was quizzed about it by Conservative MP Keith Simpson, who asked if it would be published "this side of the general election" adding "or is it going to be like the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce in Dickens - something that we will expect in about 50 years time?"

Earlier this year Lord Owen warned that if it was not published by February 2015, it might have to be delayed until after the general election to prevent it becoming too politicised.

Mr Hague told MPs: "I'm not in control of the timing of the release of the report. Certainly ministers hope it will be available in the not too distant future.

"You will recall that in 2006 I was, from the opposition benches, moving motions calling for such an inquiry that were resisted for two years... but we were opposed by (Labour) in setting up an inquiry.

"Had they agreed to it then, that inquiry would have reported long ago. "Personally I certainly hope it reports before the general election, but I'm not in control of that."

The inquiry held 18 months of public hearings between the end of 2009 and early 2011.

It examined the background to the war, the conduct of military operations, post-war planning and the UK's role in post-war security and governance until British troops left in 2009.

Those giving evidence included Mr Blair and his successor Gordon Brown, senior Cabinet ministers during their governments, military commanders and diplomats.

The inquiry also met the families of some of the one hundred and seventy-nine British troops who were killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2009.

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