Brown to give evidence to Chilcot Inquiry before Election

Gordon Brown will give evidence to an official Iraq war inquiry before the next election, according to Sky sources.

The Prime Minister was originally scheduled to appear later in the year, after the poll.

He has insisted the timing was up to committee chairman, Sir John Chilcot.

Mr Brown will now speak before the election, Sky News understands.

After increasing pressure from political opponents, Mr Brown wrote to Sir John earlier this week to make it clear he would be “happy” to attend at any time.

“I am clear that it is a matter for you how you conduct the Inquiry and that it is, and must remain, entirely independent of Government,” the Prime Minister wrote.

“In undertaking this you have rightly chosen the order you wish to receive evidence.”

“For my part, I want to make it absolutely clear I am prepared to give evidence whenever you see fit. I remain happy to take your advice on this matter,” he added.

Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg are among those who have called for the Prime Minister to give evidence earlier.

They believe the public should hear Mr Brown’s evidence before they vote, because as Chancellor, he was responsible for funding the Ministry of Defence.

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg suggested it was a “matter for the Prime Minister’s conscience” if he left it until after the poll.
The date of the General Election has not been announced but it must be held before the second week of June, five years after the last vote was held.

“The key questions will be about his role in the war,” according to Sky’s chief political correspondent Jon Craig.

“Alastair Campbell told the inquiry Mr Brown was a member of Tony Blair’s Iraq inner circle, and after Geoff Hoon’s claim that as Chancellor Mr Brown Starved the Ministry of Defence of cash before the war.”

View the original article at Sky News

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