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Croydon South MP Sir Richard Ottaway criticises Iraq War Chilcot inquiry delay

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CROYDON South MP Sir Richard Ottaway has called Sir John Chilcot to give evidence to MPs on why his report on the inquiry into the Iraq War has been delayed.

Sir Richard, chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, told Sky News this morning (January 21) he believed the report was being delayed intentionally and said the reasons given by Sir John for the delay were "pretty thin".

It was reported yesterday that Sir John had written to Prime Minister David Cameron to say the inquiry had been delayed until after May's general election.

He said: I think [Chilcot's letter is] fairly light on reasons. Quite clearly, he's struggling with getting it out on time. And he's got a number of difficulties. But the explanation [for the delay] is pretty thin.

"I suspect the process - those involved would rather move on this, and sometimes it does not take two days to reply to a letter, it takes two months and then two months to reply to that letter. "Those of us who have seen this before - I sat on the original inquiry into the case for war in Iraq - we've seen how these things can be dragged out."

Sir Richard, who is due to stand down from his safe Conservative seat in May, also said he plans to call Sir John before the foreign affairs committee to answer MPs' questions on why the report had been delayed.

"It's very important that we get [the reasons for the delay] in the public domain," he said.

Explaining the delay in a letter to the Prime Minister, Sir John said those criticised by the report had not yet had enough time to respond.

The Chilcot inquiry, set up in 2009 was tasked with looking into the reasons for Britain's involvement in the invasion of Iraq, which toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, as well as the aftermath of the conflict. It finished sitting in 2011.

Croydon South MP Sir Richard Ottaway criticises Iraq War Chilcot inquiry delay


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