The Chilcot Inquiry Timeline

The long-awaited report into the Iraq war is being published today.
Take a look back at how we got here:
The Chilcot Inquiry Timeline:
In June 2009 Prime Minister Gordon Brown announces that an inquiry will be set up, under Sir John Chilcot, to "learn the lessons" of the Iraq War.
• In November 2009 the Chilcot Inquiry holds its first public hearing.
• In January 2010 Tony Blair gave evidence and told the inquiry's panel that he did not go to war on the basis of a ''lie''. The former PM said he had no regrets over removing Saddam Hussein and would do the same again.
• In February 2011 the Chilcot Inquiry held its final public hearing.
In May 2014 Sir John disclosed that he had finally reached agreement with the Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood on the disclosure of Mr Blair's discussions with Mr Bush, including exchanges made moments before the invasion, three years after Sir Jeremy's predecessor, Sir Gus (now Lord) O'Donnell, ruled that they could not be released in their entirety. 
It had been argued that revealing the content of the phone call would present a "significant danger" to British-American relations. The lengthy dispute - which Sir John acknowledged had raised ''difficult issues of long-standing principle'' - meant the inquiry was unable to begin the 'Maxwellisation' process, in which witnesses likely to be criticised by the report are given a chance to rebut potential criticisms of their actions.
In January 2015 Sir John Chilcot confirms the report won't be published before the general election in May 2015.
• In February 2015 Tony Blair denied that he was responsible for the hold-ups. Critics had suspected the former prime minister of wanting to spin out the investigation, in which he is expected to be criticised, and he faced accusations that he sought to block publication of his communications with US President George Bush.
In June 2015 the Prime Minister David Cameron writes to Sir John to warn that he is "fast losing patience" with delays to the Iraq Inquiry findings
In August 2015 the families of 29 soldiers killed in Iraq threatened legal action unless the Chilcot Report was published by the end of the year (see below).
In November 2015 Mr Cameron told the Inquiry head he was "disappointed'' about the length of time it was taking to release the findings and urged him to ''expedite'' the final stages.
In April 2016 Conservative former frontbencher David Davis claimed that lives had "probably'' been lost as a result of the delays because Britain had made recent interventions in Libya, Syria and Iraq without proper knowledge of the controversial 2003 choice to go to war.
In May 2016 it's announced that the report will be published on Wednesday, July 6. So far the inquiry has cost more than £10 million. 179 UK military personnel died during the Iraq war.
• In July 2016 the report is published.
The date of publication was agreed by the Inquiry's head, Sir John Chilcot and David Cameron. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Sir John said: 
"National security checking of the Inquiry's report has now been completed, without the need for any redactions to appear in the text. I am grateful for the speed with which it was accomplished."
He added: "This will allow suitable time for the Inquiry to prepare the 2.6 million word report for publication, including final proof reading, formatting, printing and the steps required for electronic publication."
It comes almost seven years after the announcement that an inquiry would be set up to "learn the lessons" of the Iraq War, and its publication will come 1,981 days after the end of the inquiry.
The man leading the inquiry, Sir John Chilcot, always said he wanted to publish his report as soon as possible, but that he had been held up by the Maxwellisation process.
He added that the committee needed to evaluate responses carefully once they have been received, and that none of the witnesses had taken an unreasonable length of time to reply.


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