An emotional Blair faces the music.
Earlier the father of a British soldier killed in Iraq told Blair to look down the camera and tell families he did not mislead them:
“I can look not just the families, but the nation in the eye and say I did not mislead this country. I made the decision in good faith.”
The headlines will be about Blair, but worth noting that Chilcot says Jack Straw failed in his responsibility as Foreign Secretary to prepare post-war planning in Iraq:
“It was Mr Straw’s responsibility as foreign secretary to give due consideration to the range of options available to the UK… These included making UK participation in military action conditional on a satisfactory post-conflict plan… Mr Straw did not do so in January 2003… Nor did he… between January and March”
On March 8 2002 Straw demanded to know why a Downing Street paper on WMD did not amplify the threat from Iraq:
“Good, but should not Iraq be FIRST and also have more text? The paper has to show why there is an EXCEPTIONAL threat from Iraq. It does not quite do this yet”.
Chilcot then explains how Straw postponed publication of a paper specifically about Iraq because it wouldn’t convince the public of the threat from Saddam:
“On 18 March, Mr Straw decided that a paper on Iraq should be issued before one addressing other countries of concern. On 22 March, Mr Straw was advised that the evidence would not convince public opinion that there was an imminent threat from Iraq. Publication was postponed.”
Bad couple of weeks for the Straws…
Written in July 2002. “I will be with you, whatever.”
This is John Chilcot’s letter to the PM today, via the BBC:
Note the use of the words “should” and “possible“. Believe it when you see it…
UPDATE: The PM’s reply, via Sky: