Sir John Chilcot has been coming under fire over the delay to publishing the findings of his inquiry into the Iraq war which seems a bit harsh on him because he finished his part a long time ago, its the others that are holding it up.
In a good old piece of Britishness, as the report is expected to heavily criticise a number of politicians, including former prime minister Tony Blair, Chilcott has given the people who are to be criticised in the inquiry the right to reply before it is published but the pre-warned are also pre-armed and it is them who are holding things up by taking their sweet time to get back to him.
As the clamour grows for an early release, Chilcot has made a pointed reference to the government’s obligation to provide 'all relevant documents' to the inquiry and 'documents which had not been submitted to the inquiry and which have in some cases opened up new issues'.
The Cabinet Office have declined to explain why government departments did not give all the relevant documents to the inquiry in the first place nor whether the inquiry has now received all the documents it has requested.
It has also refused any release of the documents into the public domain on the grounds they will eventually be released alongside the inquiry’s final report.
As i said, seems a bit harsh to criticise John Chilcott if the Government are at best dragging their feet
providing him with the information or at worst deliberately withholding documents that may reflect badly on them and those about to be criticised considering it in their best interests to delay the report as long as possible and get all their ducks in a line for when the report is finally published.
I think it is a good thing that Sir John is not being pressured into publishing and that he is holding out for all the documents, just wish he would be a bit more vocal on exactly who is holding it up and making a statement that the Government may be withholding documents from him is a good start of where we should be pointing the finger.