People have gathered outside the Westminster in London to protest against a delay in the publication of a long-awaited inquiry into their country’s role in the 2003 war on Iraq, Press TV reports.
Protesters say the report’s postponement is widely due to its criticism of former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his government over their involvement in the deadly US-led invasion of Iraq.
“It’s obvious that Tony Blair will be criticized… So, they want to delay this as long as possible and obviously with an election… and the conservative party voted for the war… and they do really have something to hide here,” said Lindsey German with Stop the War Coalition.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is also the leader of the Liberal Democrats party, said earlier this month that the report was being “watered down,” as Blair and other former officials were given the chance to respond to the inquiry’s findings.
However, the inquiry’s chairman, John Chilcot, says the wait has been caused by delays in responses from individuals.
On January 21, the British government announced that the inquiry would be published after the 2015 general elections in May.
The Chilcot report had previously been delayed by rows over its criticism of leading figures in Blair’s government and diplomatic negotiations between the US and the UK about what can be revealed from correspondence between Blair and former US President George W. Bush.
The inquiry first started its submissions back in 2009 and concluded its gathering in 2011. It is four years overdue.
The US and Britain invaded Iraq in blatant violation of international law in 2003 over the allegation that the regime of then Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). No WMDs, however, were ever found in Iraq.
The war left hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead and millions displaced.