Iraq inquiry a ‘whitewash’


Former Prime Minister Sir John Major has labeled the Governments decision to hold a private inquiry into the Iraq as a ‘whitewash’.

In a statement, Sir John Major said: “The Government’s decision to hold the inquiry into the Iraq war in private is inexplicable – not least in its own interests.

“Any material which puts our national security at risk must, of course, be withheld but if, as the Government proclaims, its position will be wholly vindicated, then it should welcome maximum publicity on all other disclosures.

“It should also engender confidence in its findings by taking evidence under oath. Only then can witnesses be bound to offer full and frank responses.

“The arrangements currently proposed run the risk of being viewed sceptically by some, and denounced as a whitewash by others. I am astonished the Government cannot understand this.”

Also Lord Robin Butler, who led a previous inquiry in 2004 into intelligence failings over whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, said: “There is no prospect that an inquiry conducted entirely in private can purge the national feeling of mistrust.

The form of the inquiry proposed by the government has been dictated more by the government’s political interest than the national interest.”