New witnesses named

23 December 2009

The Iraq Inquiry has released the names of witnesses for the public hearings in January and early February 2010. These witnesses include some of the most senior decision makers in the run up to the invasion of Iraq and the following years up to and including the military withdrawal in July 2009. The public hearings will break in February in the months leading up to the General Election. They will resume after the election.

Sir John Chilcot stated on 17 December that the Committee is “determined to remain firmly outside party politics” and that “the Inquiry should not be used as a political platform for political advantage.” For this reason, the Committee has decided to wait until after the election to hear from those Ministers who are currently serving in the roles about which the Committee wishes to question them. The Committee believes that only after the General Election can these Ministers give their evidence fully without the hearings being used as a platform for political advantage.

The Ministers to whom this applies are the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband, and the Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander. These Ministers will be invited to appear in public when the Iraq Inquiry public hearings resume.

The dates when witnesses will appear in January and February will be published on the Iraq Inquiry website one week in advance, normally on a Monday.

Witness names for January and early February 2010

WitnessesRelevant Role
Rt Hon. Margaret Beckett secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Rt Hon Hilary Benn Secretary of State for International Development
Rt Hon. Tony Blair Prime Minister
Rt Hon. Des Browne Secretary of State for Defence
David Brummell Legal Secretary to the Law Officers
Alastair Campbell Director of Communications and Strategy to the Prime Minister
Sir Suma Chakrabarti Permanent Secretary, DFID
Rt Hon. Ann Clwyd Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Iraq
Lord Goldsmith Attorney General
Rt Hon. Geoffrey Hoon Secretary of State for Defence
Rt Hon. John Hutton Secretary of State for Defence
Lord Jay Permanent Secretary, FCO
Sir Bill Jeffrey Permanent Secretary, MOD
Sir Nicholas Macpherson Permanent Secretary, HMT
Sir David Omand Permanent Secretary
Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator
Jonathan Powell Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister
Rt Hon. Dr John Reid Secretary of State for Defence
Sir Peter Ricketts Permanent Secretary, FCO
Nemat Shafik Permanent Secretary, DFID
Rt Hon. Clare Short Secretary of State for International Development
Air Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup Chief of the Defence Staff
Rt Hon. Jack Straw Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Sir Kevin Tebbit Permanent Secretary, MOD
Lord Turnbull Cabinet Secretary
Lord Walker Chief of the Defence Staff
Elizabeth Wilmshurst Deputy Legal Adviser, FCO
Sir Michael Wood Legal Adviser, FCO

The Inquiry will also hear from further witnesses to establish the chronological narrative from 2001-2009. It was not possible for practical reasons to hear from these witnesses earlier:

WitnessesRelevant Role
Maj Gen Graham Binns General Officer Commanding Multi-National Division South East
Mark Lyall-Grant Director General Political, FCO
General Sir John McColl Senior British Military Representative in Iraq