Tony Blair recalled to give further evidence at Iraq enquiry
Former prime minister Tony Blair has been recalled to give further evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war, it was announced today.
Blair, who wrote about the decision to go war in his recent autobiography, will answer further questions about Britain's involvement in the conflict at a public session early next year, the inquiry team said in a statement.
Inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot said: "As we draft our report, it is clear that there are some areas where we need further detail.
"We will, therefore, be seeking further evidence on those matters. I am committed to taking the majority of this evidence in public.
"In some cases, we will be writing to witnesses or government departments asking them to provide a written statement of events, responding to specific questions set out by the committee. In other cases, we will be taking oral evidence."
No date has been fixed for Mr Blair's second appearance before the committee, which has been set down for half a day.
But there will again be a public ballot for the 60 seats in the hearing room when he gives evidence.
A third of the places will be set aside for families who lost loved ones in the war.
Ex-foreign secretary Jack Straw will also appear as a witness again, whilst former attorney general Lord Goldsmith has been asked to provide further written evidence.
Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop The War Coalition, said Mr Blair would face further protests when he appears before the panel again.
She said: "I hope this time that Chilcot will take a tougher attitude towards Blair, especially given what we now know from the WikiLeaks revelations about his part in the war.
"I really hope that his evidence will be part of preparations for further action against Blair, hopefully in a court of law.
"We will give him a very warm welcome, just as we mobilised protests against his last appearance before the committee and his book signing."
Blair previously appeared at the inquiry in January this year, defending the 2003 invasion and insisting he had no regrets over removing Saddam Hussein and would do the same again.
Anti-war campaigners and families of British troops who died in the conflict condemned his appearance, saying he evaded the panel's questions and refused to admit he made mistakes.
Asked whether he had any regrets at the end of six hours of evidence, Mr Blair said: "Responsibility but not a regret for removing Saddam Hussein."
This provoked an angry response from the audience in the inquiry chamber, with one person shouting out: "What, no regrets? Come on."
As the former prime minister left, another audience member heckled "You are a liar", and another added "And a murderer".
Admiral Lord Boyce, chief of the defence staff from 2001 to 2003, and Lord Turnbull, cabinet secretary from 2002 to 2005, are also being recalled to give further evidence.
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