Tony Blair is recalled to Chilcot Iraq Inquiry, Jan/Feb 2011

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    8th December 2010

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    UPDATE:  “FURTHER EVIDENCE” –  Iraq Inquiry site announces recalled witnesses list

    If you wish to apply to attend do so by midday 7th January 2011. Download form

    Tony Blair to be recalled to Iraq Inquiry.

    Iraq Inquiry: Tony Blair is recalled to give evidence

    Tony Blair appeared before the committee in January

    Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is to be recalled to give evidence a second time to the Iraq Inquiry.

    He is one of a number of key figures, including former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, asked to appear before the Chilcot committee again.

    In January, Mr Blair defended his decision to take the country to war, saying he had no regrets about it and that Saddam Hussein was a “monster”.

    The inquiry said it wanted “more detail” in some key areas.

    Earlier this year Chairman Sir John Chilcot said there could be more hearings if there were gaps in the evidence or points that needed clarifying.

    The committee has now named the individuals who have now been asked to appear again or provide more information as well as a small number of new witnesses.

    ‘Further evidence’

    Mr Blair and other witnesses will appear between 18 January 2011 and 4 February.

    As for his initial appearance, a public ballot will held to allocate tickets for the central London hearing – with a third of the 60 places set aside for families of those who served or were killed in Iraq.

    The BBC’s Diplomatic Correspondent Nicholas Witchell said it was not clear why Mr Blair had been asked to appear once more, but there must be significant details that the inquiry wished to clarify following its analysis of documentary evidence and a number of private hearings over the summer.

    In seven hours of questioning earlier this year, Mr Blair said the Iraqi regime posed a danger to international security and he would take the same decision again to take part in military action.

    In an update on its progress, the inquiry said it would be seeking “further evidence” on certain matters.

    “As we draft our report it is clear that there are some areas where we need further detail,” Sir John said. “I am committed to taking the majority of this evidence in public.”

    “In some cases we will be writing to witnesses or government departments asking them to provide a written statement of events, responding to specific questions set out by the Committee. In other cases we will be taking oral evidence.”

    Other witnesses to be recalled include Mr Straw and former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Bryce while current Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell and Sir Stephen Wall, once Tony Blair’s adviser on European affairs, will appear for the first time.

    Legal basis

    Former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, who admitted his view changed about the necessity for a further UN resolution legitimising military action in the run-up to the conflict, has been asked to give further written information.

    Among those asked to do the same are John Williams, head of news at the Foreign Office in the run-up to the war, who was involved in early versions of the September 2002 dossier which has since become notorious for its suggestion Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes.

    Dr Brian Jones, a senior member of the Defence Intelligence Staff who raised concerns about the 45-minute claim will also provide written evidence.

    Continue reading the BBC main story


    • Tony Blair
    • Jack Straw
    • Lord Turnbull
    • Lord Boyce
    • Lord Wilson

    Neither have, so far, contributed to the inquiry.

    The committee has been holding hearings since November, in which it has questioned a host of former Labour Cabinet ministers, senior military commanders, civil servants and diplomats.

    A number of former government lawyers have argued that the invasion was unlawful.

    From 26 September to 1 October, four of the five-member inquiry panel visited Iraq for private discussions with leading politicians and officials.

    Sir John has stressed the final report, not expected to be published before March, will be “full, thorough, evidence-based and frank”.

    “We are independent of government and will not shy away from criticising if we find fault or if we conclude that errors have been made. We are determined to produce a report that will be useful to future governments,” he added.

    Related stories

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    Also reported at The Daiy MAUL where Lindsay German of the Stop the War Coalition says this:

    ‘I hope this time that Chilcot will take a tougher attitude towards Blair, especially given what we now know from the WikiLeaks revelations about his part in the war.

    ‘I really hope that his evidence will be part of preparations for further action against Blair, hopefully in a court of law.

    ‘We will give him a very warm welcome, just as we mobilised protests against his last appearance before the committee and his book signing.’

    That’ll be like they did in January 28th this year when I counted all of 100 or so of the placard-waving left-wing anarchists and assorted friends.  If you can call George Galloway a “friend”.  See my earlier posts on Blair’s previous evidence session and other matters surrounding his


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    And – “Mr. Blair is one of the finest politicians to have had the privilege of serving the United Kingdom, and Britons are fortunate to have had him as their Prime Minister. Time will show that Mr. Blair’s approach to affairs in the Middle East were and remain correct. From a member of the Commonwealth, thank you, Mr. Blair, for your continued service to legitimate and lasting (and not convenient or politically expedient) freedom.”

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    4 Responses to “Tony Blair is recalled to Chilcot Iraq Inquiry, Jan/Feb 2011”

    1. Stan Says:

      Looks like the blackwash (i.e. the inquiry leaning too much the other way to demonstrate it will not be a whitewash) is about to begin.

      I think it’s time for a “No blackwash at the Iraq Inquiry” campaign to follow up the BBB campaign.

    2. little ole American Says:

      Lawyers, lawyers, lawyers…always looking for a way to make a quick buck.
      These Inquiries are producing absolutely nothing useful to fight against the ever increasing dangers the West is facing today. In fact, I believe the whole procedure is laughable, in the eyes of our mutual enemies.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        So do I, little ole American. Our enemies are loving it. Imagine any of them placing their leaders in front of an Inquiry like this. It’s EMBARRASSING how dull we are in this behaviour and how politically naive.

        It seems that Julian BIG MOUTH Assange is a hero and Tony Blair a villain.

        FGS. Gimme strength! After all, I’ve been to church today. TWICE. Once for a happy occasion, once for a sad one.

        Is there a God!?

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