Tony Blair prepares for career-defining moment as Sir John Chilcot agrees compromise over George Bush letters
29 December 2013 - Tony Blair is preparing himself for the defining moment of his post-prime ministerial career as Whitehall sources confirmed that Sir John Chilcot will publish his report into the handling of the Iraq war in the new year.
A compromise agreement between Chilcot and the cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, who had been resisting calls for the publication of correspondence between Blair and George Bush, is understood to mean that the final stages of the inquiry can be started in the new year.
Chilcot, a former permanent secretary at the Northern Ireland Office who had demanded the publication of the correspondence, is expected to press ahead with the "Maxwellisation process" in which people criticised in the report are contacted for their comments.
The inquiry sent out what were described as "boilerplate" letters in the initial stages of the "Maxwellisation process" in the autumn. But this process, named after rules introduced after the late Sir Robert Maxwell was deemed in an official 1969 report to be unfit to run a public company, was put on hold by Chilcot in November after he reached an impasse with Heywood on publishing the highly sensitive correspondence. Extracts of the correspondence are now expected to be published in the report in redacted form. read more>>>
30 Dec 2013 - The Chilcot inquiry report into the Iraq War may make it easier for all MPs to have a say in British involvement in international conflicts, a Whitehall source told the Guardian.
While MPs voted in favour of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Government does not have to ask Parliament if the country should go to war. read more>>>
Records of private conversations between Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and George W Bush held in build-up to the Iraq War could now be published.
30 Dec 2013 - Government officials are preparing to publish secret records of more than 100 discussions between Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and George Bush held in the run-up to the Iraq war, it has been reported. read more>>>
24 November 2009 - Even before Bush's administration came to power an article written by his then national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, warned that "nothing will change" in Iraq until Saddam was gone
27 November 2009 - But there was a 'sea change' in attitude after the atrocities, with former national security adviser Condoleezza Rice targeting Iraq on the very day of the outrage.
30 November 2009 - George Bush tried to make a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida in a conversation with Tony Blair three days after the 9/11 attacks, according to Blair's foreign policy adviser of the time.
1 December 2009 - There was "a touching belief [in Washington] that we shouldn't worry so much about the aftermath because it was all going to be sweetness and light".
3 December 2009 - Boyce mentions the "dysfunctionalism" of Washington. He says that he would find himself briefing his American counterparts on what was happening in different parts of the US administration. Rumsfeld was not sharing information