To ask the Prime Minister
(1) on what date and which Minister signed off the decision to give permission to the Chilcot inquiry to disclose quotations or gists of the content of notes from Tony Blair or records of discussions between the UK Prime Minister and the President of the United States; when detailed consideration of the gists and quotations requested by the Inquiry began; how many (a) gists and (b) quotations of Tony Blair are under consideration; whether the publication of any gists or quotations has yet been agreed; and which Minister will approve the decisions on which gists or quotations can be published;
(2) with reference to the letter of 28 May 2014 from Sir John Chilcot to the Cabinet Secretary, which Government Minister agreed, and on what date, that there was no prospect of reaching agreement that Notes or records of discussions between the UK Prime Minister and the President of the United States should be disclosed in their entirety or with redactions.
The inquiry is completely independent of Government and should be allowed to complete its work without interference.
At the outset of the inquiry, Government and the inquiry agreed a documents protocol on the handling of information provided to the inquiry. The protocol names the Cabinet Secretary as final arbiter in discussions about disclosure. He is the right person to perform this role. He is the most senior civil servant and can see papers of a previous Government. Sir John Chilcot’s letter of
Sir John Chilcot’s letter of
The Government will not comment further on the extent or detail of the inquiry’s declassification requests. I have made clear my hope that the inquiry will be able to complete its work by the end of the year.