Iraq Inquiry publishes transcripts from private hearings

17 January 2011

Today, the Iraq Inquiry has published a number of documents. These include Lord Goldsmith’s witness statement, the transcripts of five private hearings, some correspondence and a number of declassified documents to assist public understanding of these transcripts and the witness statement.

The Inquiry has held the vast majority of its hearings in public. Hearings have only been held in private when the Inquiry has judged that there are grounds under its Protocol on hearing evidence in public and identifying witnesses which determined that evidence would need to be heard in private. For example when taking evidence which if heard in public would be likely to damage national security or harm international relations.

The Inquiry has considered how best to draw on and explain in public what was covered in private. It has sought the declassification of private hearing transcripts. Those which have been declassified will be published on the Inquiry’s website. In places redactions will need to be made in line with the Protocol between the Iraq Inquiry and the Government regarding Documents and Other Written and Electronic Information and the Inquiry’s Protocol for witnesses.

Today the Inquiry has published the transcripts of the private hearings with the following witnesses.

NameRelevant Role
Sir Jeremy Greenstock GCMG HM Ambassador to United Nation 1998- July 2003 and UK Special Representative for Iraq 2003 to 2004
Ian Lee Director General Operational Policy, Ministry of Defence, 2002 to 2004
Sir David Manning GCMG CVO Foreign Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister 2001 to 2003 and HM Ambassador to Washington 2003 to 2007
Sir Kevin Tebbit KCB CMG Permanent Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence, 1998-2005
Simon Webb CBE Policy Director, Ministry of Defence, 2001 to 2004

A number of declassified documents have also been published. The Inquiry will continue to publish more transcripts, witness statements and documents where and when the Inquiry feels that publication will aid public understanding of its work. More will be published in the coming weeks.

Finally the Inquiry is publishing a letter from Rt Hon Ed Balls MP. During the Labour party leadership race, Mr Balls was quoted in the national media making some comments about his involvement in discussions around Iraq. The Inquiry wrote to Mr Balls asking him to clarify those reported comments. The Inquiry thought it should publish Mr Balls’ reply.