Brown accused of cover-up: PM under fire as key papers on Iraq war are kept confidential

Brown accused of cover-up: PM under fire as key papers on Iraq war are kept confidential
British Daily Mail.

Gordon Brown was accused of ‘gagging’ the Iraq inquiry last night as it emerged the Government is blocking the release of secret documents about the war.

Senior MPs from all three main parties said the decision bore all the hallmarks of an official ‘cover-up’ and made a mockery of the Prime Minister’s pledge of a fully open investigation.

Frustration boiled over as Labour’s former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, who
gave the green light for the 2003 invasion after changing his mind and declaring it legal, gave evidence.

Lord Goldsmith himself condemned the Government’s refusal to declassify key papers, meaning
they cannot be made public or even quoted from by the inquiry panel during questioning.

‘I didn’t agree with the decision that has apparently been made that certain documents are not to be declassified, but I will give the evidence that the inquiry seeks,’ he said.

The inquiry’s mild-mannered chairman, Sir John Chilcot, told him: ‘We share your frustration.’

Another member of the inquiry team, former diplomat Sir Roderick Lyne, referred sarcastically to ‘this bountiful Government’ having agreed to the release of one document.

A spokesman for the inquiry said the panel could ‘talk around’ declassified documents in ‘general terms’, but was unable to quote from them or ask witnesses to discuss them in detail.

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