Chilcot Report must have deadline so families can finally grieve for loved ones

Published Aug 28, 2015

releasechilcot.pngUKIP Defence Spokesman Mike Hookem MEP has called on the Chilcot Inquiry to end the “open ended right to reply to those who have been criticised in the report".

Mr Hookem said he did not think Sir John’s response to the families of the bereaved was sufficient and said it was “a matter of urgency that the truth behind the decision for the UK to invade and occupy Iraq needs to be finished sooner rather than later.”

Speaking as families have threatened legal action over the delay in releasing the report, which was started in 2009, Mr Hookem said he thought the families had “a right to know why their loved ones died and in whose name so they could complete the grieving process.”

“We know from the minutes of the United Nations Security Council that there was no new mandate to go to war in Iraq, that Hans Blix had not completed his investigations into the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction and that the Iraqi authorities were complying with the weapons inspectors," he said.

“What we need to know is what happened behind the scenes to make the UK and the US decide they did not need a Security Council mandate because no credible intelligence has ever been forthcoming to explain this course of action aside from an egomaniacal desire to appear in the history books,” Mr Hookem added.

“Tony Blair holds the record for the Prime Minister who sent the country to war the most times during his premiership.

“He and those around him who made the decision must not have a never ending window to reply to the criticisms made in the report because that is simply putting their feelings to be remembered in a positive way above the feelings of those whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice, supposedly in the line of protecting this country.”

The MEP said he agreed with the father of Tom Keys, who died in Iraq in 2003, that the witnesses should have been given a maximum of six months to respond to the criticism.

He said that “establishment figures should not be given the opportunity to delay or divert the report to protect their own reputations when it was more important that the country upheld the Military Covenant.”

The MEP also criticised what he described as the "weak" response from the Conservative government, questioning if they were "scared to push too hard for answers in case their support of the Iraq war came back to bite them."

"There is a feeling emerging from the walls of these inquiry rooms that this is one situation when they really are 'all in it together'," he said.

“If we can afford billions to send our soldiers to war then we can afford the money it takes for them to be looked after on their return and any questions to be answered,” he added.

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