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Families of Iraq War dead will not have to pay for Chilcot report copies

The families of service personnel killed in the Iraq War will not have to pay for copies of the long-awaited report into the conflict, Downing Street has said.

A Number 10 spokesman said there was "no question" of families having to pay for copies of the Chilcot report, which will be published on July 6.

Families had been told they faced being charged £767 for hard copies of the full 2.6 million word, 12-volume report.

But a Number 10 spokesman said: "There is no question of families of service personnel who died in Iraq having to pay for copies of the Chilcot report."

The decision was welcomed by Roger Bacon, whose son Major Matthew Bacon was killed in Iraq in 2005.

He said: "I appreciate that everybody will want to have the report, but we lost our children."

Mr Bacon added: "I'm really pleased that Number 10 has managed to realise that actually letting us see the report is the right thing to do without having to pay for it.

"I am pleased that they have come to their senses on this."

But he said it was an "insult" that the families had faced having to pay in the first place.

Relatives of the Iraq War dead have been invited to attend inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot's public statement when the report is published, before which they will be able to read an embargoed copy and will be given an executive summary for free.

They can also read a searchable version of the full report online for free, but had faced being charged for hard copies of the document.

The possibility of being forced to pay led to some parents of soldiers killed in the conflict, including Mr Bacon, to call for former prime minister Tony Blair to foot the bill.

The inquiry was set up in 2009 by then prime minister Gordon Brown after the withdrawal of the main body of British troops earlier that year.

It has examined the lead up to the 2003 invasion, and the years up to that 2009 withdrawal.

The report's long-awaited publication 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.


From Belfast Telegraph