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8th December 2010
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
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.
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.
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.
WITNESSES TO BE RECALLED
- 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.
- UK ‘pledged to limit Iraq probe’
- Chilcot inquiry in visits to Iraq
- Iraq inquiry: Day-by-day timeline
- UK ‘pledged to limit Iraq probe’ 30 NOVEMBER 2010, UK
- Chilcot inquiry in visits to Iraq 13 OCTOBER 2010, POLITICS
- Iraq inquiry: Day-by-day timeline 08 DECEMBER 2010, UK POLITICS
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
- Iraq Inquiry Special Afternoon Session: Tony Blair
- Iraq Inquiry Special Morning Session: Tony Blair
- Iraq Inquiry: Clare Short truth-ing it about Tony Blair’s sincerity
- Tony Blair, YouTube video – BBC, Iraq Inquiry
- Stan Rosenthal, a moderate voice of NON-pre-Judgement of Blair has to PAY to be heard
- Rentoul to BBC on Iraq Inquiry – “No, it’s NOT a trial.” (I was witness to this too!)
- BBC World ‘Have Your Say’ on Blair & Iraq Inquiry, including Blair Supporter colleagues
- Further update on the Ban Blair-Baiting petition
- Tony Blair asks at the Iraq Inquiry: “Who is killing them?”
- I was a witness (more or less) to the TRIAL of Tony Blair, aka the Iraq Inquiry
- Tony Blair at Iraq Inquiry – ONE report with NO opining
- Iraq Inquiry Special, New Statesman: Press Release – Ban Blair-Baiting petition
- Iraq Inquiry – Read Comments & Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition
- Iraq Inquiry, Blair: MET STOPS C4’s Good Guys, The Stop The Warriors
- Svane – “TONY BLAIR SUPPORTED THE USA; NOW IT IS TIME TO SUPPORT TONY BLAIR”
Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
“All countries need a leader who isn’t afraid to fight terrorism. I believe Mr. Blair did a necessary job in helping his allies. Are we all just supposed to lie down and wait for them to come for us, I don’t think so.”
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.”
AND – “Tony Blair was the greatest Prime Minister since Winston Churchill and the only regret I have he didn’t get my vote as I live in Canada.”
AND – “I am sick and tired of television and radio interviewers asking the same old questions over and over, regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, presumably they hope Mr Blair will let slip some secret information which they would then use against him. History will show if the decision was the right one, (I believe it was) but people must accept that Tony Blair is an honourable man, and made his decision based on the known facts and not with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.”
Tags: Blair recalled, evidence, George Galloway, Iraq, Iraq inquiry, iraq war, jack straw, John Chilcot, Lindsay German, lord goldsmith, Peter Goldsmith Baron Goldsmith, recalled witnesses, Saddam Hussein, Tony Blair