Tony Blair’s attorney general calls Chilcot inquiry a disgrace and says chairman has ‘lost control’

Lord Morris of Aberavon
Lord Morris of Aberavon

Former attorney general to Tony Blair, Lord Morris of Aberavon, has called the delays in the Chilcot inquiry “disgraceful”, adding its chairman has “lost control”.

The Labour peer said the Sir John Chilcot had done “a gross disservice” to the families of those who fought and died in Iraq.

He added it was time for Prime Minister David Cameron to “pull the plug” on the inquiry.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said: “My sympathy is entirely with the families. They want closure, and instead they have suffered deplorable delays.

“It is a disgrace. It has done a gross disservice to the families that they have had to wait such a long time after the conclusion of the evidence sessions.”

Mr Cameron has said he cannot intervene without affecting the independence of the inquiry but Lord Morris said it was nevertheless acceptable to set a deadline.

He said Sir Jeremy Heywood should be required to report to Parliament on the progress the inquiry is making before MPs and peers then vote on a publication timetable.

The news comes after Lord Lester of Herne Hill, a member of Blackstone Chambers, told The Times that too much time was being spent on the process of “Maxwellisation”, whereby those criticised in the report are given a chance to respond prior to publication.

In a letter to the newspaper, he wrote: “One reason for the inordinate delay in Chilcot’s case may be a lack of legal expertise about how to avoid being trapped by legalism and ensure that justice is not done to death.”

Lord Lester said he had acted on behalf of witnesses in two public inquiries who were given a much stricter time limit to raise objections to the reports.

The inquiry was launched in July 2009, but it is not yet known when its final report will be published.

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