Following Sir John Chilcot’s admission today of ‘frustration’ over the Government’s unwillingness to declassify certain information, Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has called for key documents to be published before Tony Blair’s hearing on Friday.
The documents, which must be made public if the Blair hearing is to be effective, include correspondence between the then-Prime Minister and George W Bush which has already been discussed, but so far remains unseen.
Commenting, Nick Clegg said:
“Despite Gordon Brown’s claim that he has ‘nothing to hide’ this has all the hallmarks of a cover up. Just as Liberal Democrats warned, the protocol on the release of documents is being used to gag the inquiry.
“To restore trust in the inquiry the Government must immediately declassify certain key documents ahead of Tony Blair’s hearing – the memo from Sir David Manning to Tony Blair dated January 31, 2003 and the letter from Tony Blair to George W Bush sent July 2002.
“Labour are leaving themselves open to charges of outright sabotage of Chilcot’s work to save their own political skins. If Tony Blair gets through on the nod due to the withholding of key documents, the public will rightly dismiss this inquiry as a whitewash.
“This will not go away. The Government must understand that the truth about this illegal war must and will emerge eventually, and that the time to come clean is now.”