14 September 2014 - The Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war is still making fresh requests for the release of classified government papers, suggesting that its report is unlikely to be published before the general election.
Government sources say Sir John Chilcot and his team are still filing a “steady stream” of requests asking civil servants to declassify documents that he wants to quote in his report – meaning it is still being written.
So far the inquiry has cost more than £9m including £1.5m in the last financial year, even though it was not sitting. Senior politicians and officials fear it will not be published before December at the earliest and warn that if it is not ready by the end of February it may have to be delayed until after the election.
A spokesman for the inquiry confirmed yesterday that the process of Maxwellisation, whereby Sir John will warn those he intends to criticise, has not started. That process is expected to take at least two months.
Civil servants had believed the report was close to being signed off and published at the end of May when Sir John struck a deal with Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary, to allow some cabinet papers and the “gist” of Tony Blair’s conversations with George W Bush before the war to be published. read more>>>
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."