Two and a half months after British troops began their final pull-out from Iraq, Britain has announced an inquiry into the circumstances which sent them into the US-led war. Battered by the polls and a poor showing the the recent EU elections, Prime Minister Gordon Brown told Parliament the time was right for an investigation:
“Taking into account national security considerations, as the Franks inquiry did, for example what might damage or reduce our military capability in future, evidence will be held in private.” The Inquiry will be held behind closed doors by a team of handpicked officials – the opposition Conservatives are angry: “This inquiry is due to take, surprise, surprise, until July or August 2010. By delaying the start of the inquiry and by prolonging the publication until after the next election won’t everyone conclude this inquiry has been fixed to make sure the government avoids having to face up to any inconvenient conclusions.”, leader David Cameron told the Commons. The invasion in March 2003 was met with huge anger in the UK and brought thousands onto the streets to demonstrate. 179 British personnel lost their lives during the six-year operation.