|The Right Honourable
Sir John Chilcot
22 April 1939 |
|Alma mater||Pembroke College, Cambridge|
Sir John Chilcot, GCB PC (//; born 22 April 1939) is a British Privy Counsellor and former civil servant. His appointment as chairman of an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the March 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath was announced in June 2009.
He was educated at Brighton College and Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he read English and languages. A career civil servant until his retirement in 1997, he served as Permanent Under-Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office, Deputy Under-Secretary at the Home Office in charge of the Police Department, and a variety of posts in the Home Office, the Civil Service Department and the Cabinet Office, including Private Secretary appointments to Home Secretaries Roy Jenkins, Merlyn Rees, and William Whitelaw, and to the Head of the Civil Service, William Armstrong.
His honours include CB (1990), KCB (1994), and GCB (1998). He became a Privy Counsellor in 2004, and was a member of the Butler Review of the use of intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He acted as "staff counsellor" to MI5 and MI6 from 1999 to 2004, "dealing with private and personal complaints from members of the intelligence services about their work and conditions".
He is currently the Chairman of the board of Building and Civil Engineering Holday Schemes Management Ltd.
On 15 June 2009, the then British prime minister Gordon Brown announced that Chilcot would chair an inquiry into the Iraq War, despite his participation in the discredited secret Butler report. Opposition parties, campaigners and back bench members of the governing Labour Party condemned the decision to hold the inquiry in secret and its highly restrictive terms of reference which would not, for example, permit any blame to be apportioned. In 2015, Chilcot was criticised as the Iraq Inquiry remained unpublished after six years. The head of Her Majesty's Civil Service Sir Jeremy Heywood said the inquiry had repeatedly turned down offers of extra assistance to help speed up the report. On 29 October 2015, it was announced that the inquiry would be published in June or July 2016.
The report was published on 6 July 2016, more than seven years after the inquiry was announced. The report stated that Saddam Hussein did not pose an urgent threat to British interests, that intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction was presented with too much certainty, that peaceful options to war had not been exhausted, that the United Kingdom and United States had undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council, that the process of identifying the legal basis was "far from satisfactory", and that a war in March 2003 was unnecessary.
- Wintour, Patrick (15 June 2009). "David Cameron says he favours a more secret approach to Iraq inquiry". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 30 July 2009.
- "Biographies of the Review Team - Rt Hon Sir John Chilcot GCB". Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction. Archived from the original on July 21, 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
- "Trustees, patrons and associates". Police Foundation. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- Kirkup, James (24 November 2009). "Iraq inquiry: profile of Sir John Chilcot". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 6 May 2010.
- "Anger over 'secret Iraq inquiry'". BBC News. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
- Iraq inquiry: Soldiers' families threaten to sue Chilcot
- "Iraq Inquiry published 'in June or July 2016' Sir John Chilcot says". BBC News. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
- "Iraq Inquiry: Chilcot report to be published on 6 July". BBC News. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- Luke Harding (6 July 2016). "Chilcot delivers crushing verdict on Blair and the Iraq war". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- Leon Watson (6 July 2016). "Chilcot report: 2003 Iraq war was 'unnecessary', invasion was not 'last resort' and Saddam Hussein was 'no imminent threat'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 July 2016.