The dad of a soldier who died in Iraq said he hopes Tony Blair will be brought to justice when the Chilcot Inquiry is finally published in July.
Following news the long-awaited report into why British troops invaded Iraq will be released on July 7, Eddie Hancock, from Hindley Green, said he is glad there is finally a date, and hopes those responsible will be barred form public office.
If Blair was sent to prison, I am sure lessons would be learnt. He has no right to walk off into the sunsetEddie Hancock
Mr Hancock has been vocal about his disgust of Mr Blair’s leadership relating to the second Iraqi war, as his 19-year-old son Jamie was killed on sentry duty in Basra in 2006.
He said: “I hope Sir John Chilcot is true to his word and there is no whitewash.
“I would like to see Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell brought to justice, as well as Jack Straw, who remained loyal to Blair. I don’t think anything will happen to Blair – the only thing that could happen is that his ego and reputation is knocked.
“I know Chilcot has no legal status to bring further inquiries, but he can make recommendations. I have written several letters asking him to make recommendations that these people – Blair, Straw, Campbell – are banned from serving in public office again.
“If Blair was sent to prison, I am sure lessons would be learnt. He has no right to walk off into the sunset.
“I don’t believe they would allow their own children anywhere near the armed forces, yet they are prepared to let other sons and daughters be killed.”
Mr Hancock added that he believed the invasion in Iraq has led to the more recent rebellions and terrorism from the so-called Islamic State.
The release date was confirmed in correspondence between Sir John and Prime Minister David Cameron, following the completion of the report and the national security-checking process. It is understood that arrangements are being made for families of those killed in the conflict to have early access to the report on the day of publication.
The inquiry was set up in June 2009 by the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown to examine the UK involvement in Iraq from the summer of 2001 to the end of June 2009.
It received evidence from more than 150 witnesses, held more than 130 sessions of oral evidence and analysed more than 150,000 government documents. At 2.6 million words, it has cost the taxpayer £10.3m.
Last October, there was anger when it was announced the release of the report would be delayed, after Sir John wrote to Mr Cameron saying that, although the text had been completed in April 2015, he wanted more time for counter-responses from those criticised by witnesses.