Iraq war
Iraq

All sides of British politics were in uproar Wednesday after the head of the official inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War said his report would not be published before the May general election.

Iraq warSir John Chilcot said it would be “some further months” before the independent panel finished investigating Britain’s role in the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken of his “immense frustration” that work begun in 2009 is still not finished.

The Chilcot inquiry, which held its last public hearing in 2011, is looking into the decisions taken by then premier Tony Blair to join US president George W Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

Chilcot said those criticized by the panel were being given the opportunity to respond before a report was written up.

Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg, Cameron’s coalition partner, said the delay was “incomprehensible” and might be construed by the public as an attempt by those adversely named in Chilcot’s report to “sex down” its findings.

Alastair Campbell, Blair’s director of communications in the run-up to the invasion, was accused of “sexing up” a 2002 dossier outlining the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction.

Campbell, who like Blair appeared before the inquiry, denied those claims.

Suzanne Evans, the deputy leader of the UK Independence Party, said in a tweet that the delay “reeks of an establishment cover up” and deplored the 10 million pounds (15 million dollars) already spent on the inquiry.

Chilcot was appointed in 2009 by Labour’s Gordon Brown, Blair’s successor as prime minister.

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