Summing up Brown's evidence so far: "I wasn't there, I know nothing, nothing to do with me, guv. Honest"
Naval_Gazer said:For all his faults, Brown gives the impression of having mastered his subject rather well. He has certainly shown a surprisingly detailed knowledge of dates, places, war aims, peace aims (frustrated by the Americans), tactics and necessary modifications to equipment; even the 'hot and high' requirement for helos operating in Afghanistan.
Campaigners suspect the former Labour PM committed Britain to going to war before getting the backing of Parliament.But under a deal being negotiated between Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, who was principal private secretary to Mr Blair in No10 in the run-up to the war, and Sir John Chilcot, the information to be disclosed will be limited to “quotes or gists”.
In addition, the inquiry’s use of the material “should not reflect president Bush’s views”. But Sir John Major, who was Prime Minister during the first Gulf War in 1991, said: “It’s a pity that the papers are going to be withheld. “Firstly, they will leave suspicions unresolved and those suspicions will fester and maybe worsen. “Secondly, withholding them is going to be very embarrassing for Mr Blair, not least of course since he brought in the Freedom of Information Act.”
Sir John added that the controversial decision was by the Cabinet Office and the current Coalition Government could not intervene over papers from a previous Labour administration.