Chilcot report: Main points at a glance

Sir John Chilcot has unveiled his scathing report into the Iraq war.

Sir John Chilcot presents his inquiry's report into the Iraq War. Picture: PA

Ministers from Prime Minister Tony Blair downwards, Whitehall mandarins and senior army officers all came in for criticism in Sir John’s seven-year inquiry into the conflict.

Here are the key points:

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• The UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before “peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted” and “military action at that time was not a last resort”.

• Saddam Hussein posed “no imminent threat” at the time of the invasion.

• No support for Blair critics’ claim that he agreed a deal “signed in blood” to topple Saddam with US President George W Bush in April 2002.

• In July 2002 Blair wrote to Bush: “I will be with you whatever.”

• The UK’s decision to act despite no second UN resolution backing military action in March 2003 had the effect of “undermining the Security Council’s authority”.

• Attorney General Lord Goldsmith’s decision that there was a legal basis for UK involvement in invasion was taken in a way which was “far from satisfactory”.

• Prime Minister Tony Blair’s September 2002 Commons statement and dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) made judgments that “were presented with a certainty that was not justified”.

• The Labour Government’s policy on Iraq was made on the basis of “flawed intelligence and assessments” that should have been challenged.

• The consequences of the invasion were “under-estimated”, and planning and preparation for after the overthrow of Saddam were “wholly inadequate”.

• The Government’s war preparations “failed to take into account the magnitude of the task of stabilising, administering and reconstructing Iraq”.

• Problems that arose following the invasion, including internal fighting, Iranian influences, regional instability and al Qaeda activity, were flagged as risks before the invasion.

• Whitehall mandarins and departmental ministers “failed to put their collective weight behind the task” of stabilising British parts of post-war Iraq.

• The Ministry of Defence was slow to respond to the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to troops.

• Delays in providing better-protected patrol vehicles “should not have been tolerated”.

• It was “humiliating” that by 2007 British troops in Basra had to use prisoner exchanges to get militias to stop targeting them.

• Tony Blair “overestimated his ability to influence US decisions on Iraq”.

• The US/UK special relationship has proved “strong enough to bear the weight of honest disagreement” and “does not require unconditional support where our interests or judgments differ”.