The Iraq Inquiry has today published a letter that Sir John Chilcot, the Chair of the Inquiry, sent to the Prime Minister on 28 October.
The letter states that the Inquiry expects to be able to complete the text of its report in the week of 18 April 2016. At that time, confidential access will be given to a team of officials for National Security checking. Sir John wrote "I entirely understand that a checking process is necessary and is normal procedure in Inquiries which have considered a large volume of sensitive material" to ensure that the Government meets its obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights and for the protection of National Security.
Sir John also explained "The very considerable size of our report - more than two million words in total - means that it will take some weeks to prepare for printing and publication ... We will complete that work as swiftly as possible. I consider that once National Security checking has been completed it should be possible to agree with you a date for publication in June or July 2016."
Sir John ended his letter "My colleagues and I remain committed to producing a report that will meet the very wide ranging terms of reference we were given and reflect the considerable investment of time and effort by all involved."
The Prime Minister replied to Sir John's letter on 29 October.