The former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown announced on 15 June 2009 that an Inquiry would be conducted to identify lessons that can be learned from the Iraq conflict. The Iraq Inquiry was officially launched on 30 July 2009. At the launch the Chair of the Inquiry, Sir John Chilcot, set out the Inquiry's Terms of Reference:
Our terms of reference are very broad, but the essential points, as set out by the Prime Minister and agreed by the House of Commons, are that this is an Inquiry by a committee of Privy Counsellors. It will consider the period from the summer of 2001 to the end of July 2009, embracing the run-up to the conflict in Iraq, the military action and its aftermath. We will therefore be considering the UK's involvement in Iraq, including the way decisions were made and actions taken, to establish, as accurately as possible, what happened and to identify the lessons that can be learned. Those lessons will help ensure that, if we face similar situations in future, the government of the day is best equipped to respond to those situations in the most effective manner in the best interests of the country.
The Inquiry committee members are Sir John Chilcot (Chairman), Sir Lawrence Freedman, Sir Martin Gilbert, Sir Roderic Lyne and Baroness Usha Prashar.
The Inquiry took evidence over a number of months, with as many hearings as possible held in public. The first round of hearings began in autumn 2009 and continued into early 2010. After a break for the general election, the Inquiry resumed its public hearings in June for a period of five weeks. The Inquiry held its final round of public hearings between 18th January - 2nd February 2011. Sir John Chilcot wrote to the Prime Minister on 28 October 2015 setting out a timetable for completion of the Inquiry's report.
This Executive Summary of the report was published on 6th July 2016. A full version of The Report of the Iraq Inquiry was alsopublished on the same day.