25 June 2009

Iraq inquiry: Brown has failed Mandy and Blair

Little surprise that Brown, Blair et all wanted the Iraq inquiry held in private.  In the Commons debate on the inquiry yesterday Michael Mates, a member of the Butler inquiry who saw all the legal advice and intelligence, said this:

There are papers which have flown between very senior representatives of government and ministers...which will make certain people's eyes water.

Now this from John Kampfer in today's Spectator.  He claims Mandy extracted a promise of a private inquiry to shield Blair as the price for helping Brown see off the attempt by Labour MPs to oust him:

Mandelson — on Blair’s behalf — set down specific conditions for the Iraq war inquiry. The deal, I am told, was explicit. Not only would the hearings be fully in private, but the committee would, as with Hutton, be manageable. Brown was instructed to ensure that the members of the inquiry would, in the words of one official, ‘not stir the horses’. Brown readily acquiesced. He was not in a position to do anything else. It was a done deal, even before James Purnell sent alarm bells through Downing Street with his resignation on the night of 4 June.

No wonder Alastair Campbell keeps repeating on his blog that he was not consulted about the nature of the inquiry.  He was at it again last night, no doubt after being tipped off about the article in the Spectator:

He [Hague] claimed that I had been consulted about the nature of the inquiry, seeking to draw a contrast with others who had not been. He also sought to give the impression I pressed the government to go for a private inquiry.

As I explained here a few days ago, that is not so.

What a carry on.  These wonderful islands have a prime minister who is sustained in office by Mandy only because Brown agreed to hold the Iraq inquiry in private, which is now not the case.

As the inquiry will now be held in public does the logic follow that Mandy now dumps Brown?  One day we may, if we're lucky, get the truth of what goes on behind the closed doors of this failed administration.

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