Belfast Telegraph

Blair urged to intervene in Iraq War probe

By Sam Lister

Tony Blair could intervene to allow full disclosure of exchanges he had with George Bush in the run-up to the Iraq war, Sir John Major has said.

The Conservative former Prime Minister warned that publishing only partial extracts in the long-awaited Chilcot report would allow suspicions about what took place between Mr Blair and the then US president to fester and worsen.

Years of negotiations over the publication of the "vital" material, which includes 25 notes from Mr Blair to Mr Bush and more than 130 records of conversations between them, is understood to have been behind the delay in publication of the Chilcot Inquiry's report into the invasion.

But campaigners reacted angrily to the decision to limit release to "quotes or gists" and branded the move a whitewash.

Sir John urged Mr Blair and Labour to consider giving permission for full disclosure.

He told the BBC: "I think it is a pity the papers are going to be withheld for several reasons. Firstly, they will leave suspicions unresolved and those suspicions will fester and maybe worsen.

"Secondly, in many ways I think withholding them is going to be very embarrassing for Tony Blair."

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