UK Politics

Iraq Inquiry: Sir John Chilcot to face MPs' questions

Sir John Chilcot Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir John Chilcot will face questions from a group of senior backbenchers

MPs will question the chairman of the Iraq War Inquiry later this month for the first time since it published its official report in July.

Former civil servant Sir John Chilcot will appear before MPs on the Commons Liaison Committee on 18 October.

The report, which took seven years to complete, criticised Tony Blair and his government's case for going to war in 2003.

Mr Blair defended his actions, saying military action had been justified.

The Chilcot Inquiry, which began its work in 2009, after UK troops left Iraq, did not attempt to reach a verdict on the legality or otherwise of the military action.

Mr Blair has continued to insist the decision to remove Saddam Hussein was justified, although he has acknowledged that the intelligence on which it was based was flawed.

Appearing before a separate committee of MPs last month, Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heyward said he and other civil servants were in the "preliminary" phase of learning lessons from the report in terms of how government should operate in future.

He said he was frustrated at the length of time the inquiry had taken but believed that it could not have been expedited without changing the large terms of reference or restricting access to vital declassified documents and other material.

The liaison committee, made up of the chairs of individual parliamentary committees, is best known for questioning the prime minister of the day two or three times a year.

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