As with previous inquiries, I decided on being called as a witness to the Chilcot Inquiry that I should say nothing beyond my own evidence. That was harder when earlier inquiries were going on, because I was still working for the government, and regularly briefing the media, but it is straightforward enough now. I have given my evidence, as have many others, and the inquiry is now preparing its report. Whatever the media may wish to do with the evidence from Major General Laurie published on the inquiry website yesterday, I see no purpose in giving a running commentary.
To those genuinely interested in the issues rather than a headline, however, you may wish to watch or read the evidence I gave in January which is here. Indeed, I would recommend reading as much of the evidence of others as possible too, rather than rely on media reports of it, which have tended to focus on those bits which suit the particular media organisation’s line.
To restate the contents of the tweet I sent yesterday – I was, and remain, absolutely clear about the purpose of the dossier at the time, which was not to make the case for war, but set out the reasons why the Prime Minister and the government were becoming more not less concerned about Iraq and WMD. Also, I was and remain clear that at no time did I or anyone in Downing Street put pressure on the Joint Intelligence Committee.
‘Witness says same thing as he has been saying for years’ may not be deemed newsworthy, but I can say to those journalists outside the house, and those calling and emailing, that it is all I am saying, other than to restate that I have never met Major General Laurie.