Chilcot Report: Relatives Anger At £767 Cost

June 3, 2016 3:16 PM

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Tony Blair faces calls to pay for hard copies as bereaved parents say they have "already paid with our children's lives".

Families of troops killed in the Iraq War have expressed outrage after it emerged they would have to pay £767 for a hard copy of the long-awaited Chilcot report.

It has led bereaved relatives to call on former prime minister Tony Blair to foot the cost given they had "already paid with our children's lives".

The families have been invited to attend the public statement to be made by inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot on that date, prior to which they will be able to read an embargoed copy.

They will be given an executive summary for free and can also read a searchable version of the full report online for free.

The Chilcot report into the Iraq War will run to two million words. That will make it the longest report in history and significantly weightier than some of the world's most famous books. So how exactly will it compare?

But Rose Gentle, from Glasgow, whose son Fusilier Gordon Gentle was killed in a bomb attack in Basra in 2004 aged 19, argued families should also get a free hard copy.

"Why should we have to pay - have we not paid enough times with the lives of our sons?

"The families should get a free copy of this, we have paid the cost with their deaths, we have been through the inquests - some families are not going to have that sort of money.

"Why doesn't Tony Blair say 'I will pay for it', because he has got enough money."

Roger Bacon, whose son Major Matthew Bacon was killed in Iraq in 2005, said: "Who has the money to pay for something like this?

"If they find that they cannot afford to give us a copy for free why don't they say to Tony Blair that with all his millions perhaps he might be able to make a gesture and pay for it out of his coffers, bearing in mind we have already paid with our children's lives."

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has called on the Ministry of Defence to provide free copies to the families on request.

"It is unbelievable that after all these years of waiting, of stalling and uncertainty, we now find out that the families will have to pay for a copy of the report," he said.

The inquiry was set up by then prime minister Gordon Brown after the withdrawal of the main UK force from Iraq in 2009.

It examined the lead up to the 2003 invasion, and the years up to the pull out of troops.

The publication of the report follows 130 sessions of oral evidence and the testimony of more than 150 witnesses.

The inquiry has analysed more than 150,000 government documents as well as other material related to the invasion.


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