Iraq Inquiry rules re-written to prevent embarrassment – Michael Meacher MP

Remember yesterday’s article, in which Vox Political demonstrated that David Cameron was wrong to claim Labour had delayed the report of the Iraq Inquiry because he was guilty of the same thing? Michael Meacher agrees. He writes:

What makes it all the more scandalous is not that more time is needed to complete the report (it has been completed), but rather that those criticised in the report have been given the option of indefinitely delaying its publication as a result of being given prior access to what it says about them and then being allowed endlessly to prevaricate by haggling over every detail they don’t like.   On a matter that affects the whole nation and has left an abiding imprint of deep shame, this is outrageous.

Who, and on what authority, introduced this so-called Maxwellisation process? It has in fact no constitutional foundation except to protect political decision-makers once the tide of public opinion has turned against them.

There is to be a parliamentary debate and vote on the publication of the Chilcot report on 29th of this month.   If then there were a majority in favour of publication before the election, the Chilcot committee should be expected to accept that as reflecting the will of the public, and act to abide by that decision.   But this is another area where the Establishment has laid down rules for its own convenience.

The government will simply say, as it has done over 20 times on such occasions during this Parliament, that this is merely an advisory vote and it can be simply ignored.

Mr Meacher also wrote: Cameron has tried to wash his hands of it by saying that he is not responsible and the inquiry is independent [but this]doesn’t wash. He closed down the Gibson inquiry into alleged UK involvement in US rendition when it became clear that its revelations could be highly embarrassing to the UK authorities, so there is no question that he could set a time limit for the Chilcot inquiry if he really wanted to.

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