MPs will ask Sir John Chilcot for Iraq inquiry apology

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The chair of the inquiry into the Iraq war will be asked to apologise to families of soldiers killed in action when he appears before a committee of MPs.

Sir John Chilcot will answer questions for the first time since publishing his report nine years after the start of an inquiry into the conflict.

MPs said they would ask Sir John to apologise to families who faced a lengthy wait for answers about why their loved ones were sent into combat.

The Iraq inquiry chair will face the MPs on the Liaison Committee, which brings together the chairs of the various House of Commons committees.

Bob Neill, the chairman of the Justice committee, was quoted as saying he would seek “an explanation for the delay at the very least” and said he wanted to “recognise the distress caused”.

Mr Neill told the Daily Telegraph: “It has been a very long delay and people would like to know why that is in a bit more detail than we have had so far.”

He added that “maybe there are lessons to be learned about keeping people in the loop” when inquiries take a long time to conclude.

Bernard Jenkin, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs committee chairman, said: “The length of time it has taken has been very distressing for the families.

“I won’t be at all surprised if the families are still looking for closure.”

Sir John’s report, published in July, found that the decision to go to war in Iraq was not a last resort, and that intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction was presented with greater certainty than the evidence supported.