Iraq inquiry date set

By Ian Dunt

The first public hearings into the Iraq war have been set for November 24th, the panel’s chairman has announced.

The group is examining events from just before September 11th to the end of British forces’ mission in Iraq in July this year. It has been examining evidence for months, and is now ready to receive witnesses.

The inquiry will be held at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre, just next to parliament.

Sir John Chilcot, who is leading the inquiry, repeated the fact that evidence from witnesses – including former prime minister Tony Blair and senior military figures – should be given in public unless issues of “national or personal security” were raised.

Important witnesses, such as Mr Blair, are likely to be called towards the end of the inquiry so that all necessary questions can be asked.

The inquiry is not expected to report back until late next year, after the general election.