John Chilcot

Sir John Anthony Chilcot, GCB (/ˈtʃɪlkɒt/; born 22 April 1939) is a British retired civil servant.

In 2009, he was appointment chairman of the Iraq Inquiry (also referred to as the "Chilcot Inquiry"), an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the Iraq War (2003).[1]

Sir John Chilcot

Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
MonarchElizabeth II
Personal details
Born22 April 1939 (age 80)
Surrey, England
EducationBrighton College
Alma materPembroke College, Cambridge
OccupationCivil servant


Chilcot was educated at Brighton College and Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he read English and languages.


A career civil servant until his retirement in 1997, he served as Permanent Under-Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office, Deputy Under-Secretary at the Home Office in charge of the Police Department, and a variety of posts in the Home Office, the Civil Service Department and the Cabinet Office, including Private Secretary appointments to Home Secretaries Roy Jenkins, Merlyn Rees, and William Whitelaw, and to the Head of the Civil Service, William Armstrong.[2]

He acted as "staff counsellor" to MI5 and MI6 from 1999 to 2004, "dealing with private and personal complaints from members of the intelligence services about their work and conditions".[3]

He became a Privy Counsellor in 2004.

The Butler Review (2004)

Chilcot was a member of the Butler Review of the use of intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Chilcot Inquiry (2009–2016)

On 15 June 2009, the then British prime minister Gordon Brown announced that Chilcot would chair an inquiry into the Iraq War, despite his participation in the discredited secret Butler report. Opposition parties, campaigners and back bench members of the governing Labour Party condemned the decision to hold the inquiry in secret and its highly restrictive terms of reference which would not, for example, permit any blame to be apportioned.[4]

In 2015, Chilcot was criticised as the Iraq Inquiry remained unpublished after six years.[5] The head of Her Majesty's Civil Service Sir Jeremy Heywood said the inquiry had repeatedly turned down offers of extra assistance to help speed up the report. On 29 October 2015, it was announced that the inquiry would be published in June or July 2016.[6]

The report was published on 6 July 2016, more than seven years after the inquiry was announced.[7] The report stated that at the time of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Saddam Hussein did not pose an urgent threat to British interests, that intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction was presented with too much certainty, that peaceful options to war had not been exhausted, that the United Kingdom and United States had undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council, that the process of identifying the legal basis was "far from satisfactory", and that a war was unnecessary.[8][9]

Later work

He is currently president of Britain's independent policing think tank, The Police Foundation.[10]


Chilcot was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 1990 Birthday Honours before being promoted to Knight Commander (KCB) in the 1994 New Year Honours and finally Knight Grand Cross (GCB) in the 1998 New Year Honours.[11][12][13]


  1. ^ Wintour, Patrick (15 June 2009). "David Cameron says he favours a more secret approach to Iraq inquiry". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  2. ^ "Biographies of the Review Team - Rt Hon Sir John Chilcot GCB". Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction. Archived from the original on July 21, 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  3. ^ Kirkup, James (24 November 2009). "Iraq inquiry: profile of Sir John Chilcot". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  4. ^ "Anger over 'secret Iraq inquiry'". BBC News. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  5. ^ Iraq inquiry: Soldiers' families threaten to sue Chilcot
  6. ^ "Iraq Inquiry published 'in June or July 2016' Sir John Chilcot says". BBC News. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Iraq Inquiry: Chilcot report to be published on 6 July". BBC News. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  8. ^ Luke Harding (6 July 2016). "Chilcot delivers crushing verdict on Blair and the Iraq war". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  9. ^ Leon Watson (6 July 2016). "Chilcot report: 2003 Iraq war was 'unnecessary', invasion was not 'last resort' and Saddam Hussein was 'no imminent threat'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Trustees, patrons and associates". Police Foundation. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  11. ^ "No. 52173". The London Gazette. 15 June 1990. p. 3.
  12. ^ "No. 53527". The London Gazette. 31 December 1993. p. 3.
  13. ^ "No. 54993". The London Gazette. 31 December 1997. p. 2.

External links

Iraq Inquiry Searchable text version


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Brian Jones (intelligence analyst)

Brian Francis Gill Jones (24 August 1944 – 10 February 2012) was a UK metallurgist who worked as an intelligence analyst, was skeptical of claims of Iraqi WMD and gave evidence concerning the justification for the Iraq war.

Butler Review

The Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction, widely known as the Butler Review after its chairman Robin Butler, Baron Butler of Brockwell, was announced on 3 February 2004 by the British Government and published on 4 July 2004. It examined the intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction which played a key part in the Government's decision to invade Iraq (as part of the U.S.-led coalition) in 2003. A similar Iraq Intelligence Commission was set up in the United States. Despite the apparent certainty of both governments prior to the war that Iraq possessed such weapons, no such illegal weapons or programs were found by the Iraq Survey Group.

The inquiry also dealt with the wider issue of WMD programmes in "countries of concern" and the global trade in WMD. Recommendations were made to the prime minister to better evaluate and assess intelligence information in the future before invoking action.

Catherine Bearder

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Chilcot is a surname. Notable people include:

John Chilcot (born 1939), chairman of the Iraq Inquiry, referred to as the Chilcot Inquiry

Thomas Chilcot (1707?–1766)

Douglas Brand

Douglas Brand OBE (born April 28, 1951) is a British criminologist and retired police officer who was tasked with assisting with the establishment of the newly formed Iraqi Police in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Gus O'Donnell

Augustine Thomas O'Donnell, Baron O'Donnell, (born 1 October 1952) is a former British senior civil servant and economist, who between 2005 and 2011 (under three Prime Ministers) served as the Cabinet Secretary, the highest official in the British Civil Service.

O'Donnell announced after the 2010 General Election that he would step down within that Parliament and did so at the end of 2011. His post was then split into three positions: he was succeeded as Cabinet Secretary by Sir Jeremy Heywood, as Head of the Home Civil Service by Sir Bob Kerslake (in a part-time role), and as Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office by Ian Watmore. Whilst Cabinet Secretary, O'Donnell was regularly referred to within the Civil Service, and subsequently in the popular press, as GOD; this was mainly because of his initials. In 2012, O'Donnell joined Frontier Economics as a Senior Advisor.

Hutton Inquiry

The Hutton Inquiry was a 2003 judicial inquiry in the UK chaired by Lord Hutton, who was appointed by the Labour government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of David Kelly, a biological warfare expert and former UN weapons inspector in Iraq.

On 18 July 2003, Kelly, an employee of the Ministry of Defence, was found dead after he had been named as the source of quotations used by BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan. These quotations had formed the basis of media reports claiming that the government had knowingly "sexed up" the "September Dossier", a report into Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. The inquiry opened in August 2003 and reported on 28 January 2004. The Hutton report cleared the government of wrongdoing, while the BBC was strongly criticised, leading to the resignation of the BBC's chairman Gavyn Davies and director-general Greg Dyke. The report was met with scepticism by the British public, and criticism by British newspapers such as The Guardian, Independent, and the Daily Mail, though others said it exposed serious flaws within the BBC.

Imam Saad bin Aqil' Shrine

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A few years later, a reconstruction started of the mausoleum.

Iraq Inquiry

The Iraq Inquiry (also referred to as the Chilcot Inquiry after its chairman, Sir John Chilcot) was a British public inquiry into the nation's role in the Iraq War. The inquiry was announced in 2009 by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and published in 2016 with a public statement by Chilcot.

On 6 July 2016, Sir John Chilcot announced the report's publication, more than seven years after the inquiry was announced. Usually referred to as the Chilcot report by the news media, the document stated that at the time of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Saddam Hussein did not pose an urgent threat to British interests, that intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction was presented with unwarranted certainty, that peaceful alternatives to war had not been exhausted, that the United Kingdom and the United States had undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council, that the process of identifying the legal basis was "far from satisfactory", and that a war was unnecessary. The report was made available under an Open Government Licence.

Lawrence Freedman

Sir Lawrence David Freedman, (born 7 December 1948) is Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King's College London. He has been described as the "dean of British strategic studies", and was a member of the Iraq Inquiry.

Legality of the Iraq War

The legality of the invasion and occupation of Iraq has been widely debated since the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Poland and a coalition of other countries launched the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated in September 2004 that: "I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and the UN Charter point of view, it [the war] was illegal", explicitly declaring that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal.Political leaders of the US and UK have claimed that the war was legal; however, legal experts, including John Chilcot, who, acting as chairman for the British public inquiry into Iraq, also known as the Iraq Inquiry, led an investigation with hearings from 24 November 2009 to 2 February 2011, concluded that the process of identifying the legal basis for the invasion of Iraq was unsatisfactory and that the actions of the US and the UK have undermined the authority of the United Nations.

International leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Deputy Prime Minister to Tony Blair John Prescott, have also argued that the invasion of Iraq lacked legality as examples. In a 2005 paper, Kramer & Michalowski argued that the war "violated the UN Charter and international humanitarian law"."The use of force abroad, according to existing international laws, can only be sanctioned by the United Nations. This is the international law. Everything that is done without the UN Security Council's sanction cannot be recognised as fair or justified" - Quote, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Televised conference before James bakers meeting. 19/12/20-3US and UK officials have argued that existing UN Security Council resolutions related to the 1991 Gulf War and the subsequent ceasefire (660, 678), and to later inspections of Iraqi weapons programs (1441), had already authorized the invasion. Critics of the invasion have challenged both of these assertions, arguing that an additional Security Council resolution, which the US and UK failed to obtain, would have been necessary to specifically authorize the invasion.The UN Security Council, as outlined in Article 39 of the UN Charter, has the ability to rule on the legality of the war, but has yet not been asked by any UN member nation to do so. The United States and the United Kingdom have veto power in the Security Council, so action by the Security Council is highly improbable even if the issue were to be raised. Despite this, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) may ask that the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—"the principal judicial organ of the United Nations" (Article 92)—give either an 'advisory opinion' or 'judgement' on the legality of the war. Indeed, the UNGA asked the ICJ to give an 'advisory opinion' on "the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel", by its resolution A/RES/ES-10/14, as recently as 12 December 2003; despite opposition from permanent members of the Security Council. It achieved this by sitting in tenth 'emergency special session', under the framework of the 'Uniting for Peace' resolution.

List of Honorary Fellows of Pembroke College, Cambridge

This is a list of Honorary Fellows of Pembroke College, Cambridge.

Sir Michael Atiyah

Paul Bew, Baron Bew

Martin Biddle

Jeremy Bloxham

David Brading

Kamau Brathwaite

A. David Buckingham

Sir John Chilcot

James Crowden

Sir Simon Donaldson

Sir Patrick Elias

Roger W. Ferguson Jr.

Stephen Greenblatt

Sir Christopher Hum

Clive James

William Janeway

Emma Johnson

Sir John Kingman

Sir Simon McDonald

Sir Stephen Nickell

Jim Prior, Baron Prior

George Maxwell Richards

Sir Mark Richmond

Sir Konrad Schiemann

Chris Smith, Baron Smith of Finsbury

Sir John Sulston

Joe Vinen

Sir Alan Ward

List of witnesses of the Iraq Inquiry

This is a list of witnesses of the Iraq Inquiry, sorted chronologically, who have given testimony to the Iraq Inquiry, a British public inquiry into the United Kingdom's role in the Iraq War. The inquiry, chaired by career civil servant Sir John Chilcot, commenced on 24 November 2009. From November to December 2009, the witnesses were primarily civil servants and military officials including Tim Cross and Sir Peter Ricketts. Following a Christmas break, the inquiry heard predominantly from politicians, including former cabinet ministers, including Gordon Brown as well as Tony Blair, Prime Minister at the time of the invasion. The Iraq Inquiry adjourned in March 2010 to avoid influencing the general election campaign and the last witnesses gave testimony in June 2011. On 6 July 2016 Sir John Chilcot published the report, more than seven years after the inquiry was announced.

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He was a member of the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's role in the Iraq War.

Not In Our Name CD (album)

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The CD includes a eulogy by Craig Brierley whose brother was killed in Iraq in 2003. Their father, Peter Brierley, confronted Tony Blair, refusing to shake his hand, and is a staunch anti-war campaigner and seeker of answers to the "weapons of mass destruction" question. He was one of the driving influences in creating the CD.

Peter Brierley was interviewed about the CD on Good Morning on ITV on 30 October 2015.

Public inquiry

A tribunal of inquiry is an official review of events or actions ordered by a government body. In many common law countries, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and Canada, such a public inquiry differs from a Royal Commission in that a public inquiry accepts evidence and conducts its hearings in a more public forum and focuses on a more specific occurrence. Interested members of the public and organisations may not only make (written) evidential submissions as is the case with most inquiries, but also listen to oral evidence given by other parties.

Typical events for a public inquiry are those that cause multiple deaths, such as public transport crashes or mass murders. In addition, in the UK, the Planning Inspectorate, an agency of the Department for Communities and Local Government, routinely holds public inquiries into a range of major and lesser land use developments, including highways and other transport proposals.

Advocacy groups and opposition political parties are likely to ask for public inquiries for all manner of issues. The government of the day typically only accedes to a fraction of these requests. The political decision whether to appoint a public inquiry into an event was found to be dependent on several factors. The first is the extent of media coverage of the event; those that receive more media interest are more likely to be inquired. Second, since the appointment of a public inquiry is typically made by government ministers, events that involve allegations of blame on the part of the relevant minister are less likely to be investigated by a public inquiry. Third, a public inquiry generally takes longer to report and costs more on account of its public nature. Thus, when a government refuses a public inquiry on some topic, it is usually on at least one of these grounds.

The conclusions of the inquiry are delivered in the form of a written report, given first to the government, and soon after published to the public. The report will generally make recommendations to improve the quality of government or management of public organisations in the future. Recent studies have shown that the reports of public inquiries are not effective in changing public opinion regarding the event in question. Moreover, public inquiry reports appear to enjoy public trust only when they are critical of the government, and tend to lose credibility when they find no fault on the part of the government.

Roger Wheeler (British Army officer)

General Sir Roger Neil Wheeler, (born 16 December 1941) is a retired British Army officer who served as Chief of the General Staff from 1997 to 2000. During his career he was involved in the Cyprus Emergency, directed military operations in Northern Ireland and led the UK's forces deployed on NATO operations in Bosnia. He is now a non-executive director of several businesses operating on an international basis.

Rosalyn Higgins, Baroness Higgins

Rosalyn C. Higgins, Baroness Higgins, (born 2 June 1937, London) is a British former President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). She was the first female judge elected to the ICJ, and was elected President in 2006. Her term of office expired on 6 February 2009. She was succeeded as President by Judge Hisashi Owada, and Sir Christopher Greenwood was elected in her place as Judge in the International Court of Justice.

Members of the Iraq Inquiry
Members of the Butler Review


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