Leyland family support legal action over report into Iraq War

TOO LONG: Stephen Wright, a member of the Royal Artillery who died aged 20 in 2006
TOO LONG: Stephen Wright, a member of the Royal Artillery who died aged 20 in 2006
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The grandfather of a soldier killed during the Iraq war has thrown his support behind an attempt to get a report into the conflict finally published.

Twenty nine families of soldiers have issued the ultimatum to inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot in a legal letter threatening to seek judicial review, if a date for publication is not set within two weeks.

It’s been all over the papers that it’s costing £16,000 a week to protect Tony Blair, but they couldn’t afford to supply our troops with proper protection.

Mr Wright

The families say the six-year wait for answers over why their loved ones were killed is “morally reprehensible”.

Robert Wright, whose 20-year-old grandson Stephen Wright died in 2006 when the Land Rover he was travelling in was bombed, agreed.

He said: “It’s taking far too long and I support what these families are doing.

“It’s very frustrating for all of us and it’s costing the British taxpayer more and more money for all these meetings.

“But I don’t think we’ll ever really get the truth. We’ll get what they want to tell us. They’re all in the same boat, these politicians.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has demanded a timetable for publishing the long-awaited report be set out “pretty soon”, in a sign last week of his growing frustration at the delays in the process.

Sir John insisted last month that his inquiry - launched in 2009 - was making “significant progress”, although he could not set a date of the publication of his findings.

He said officials were continuing to work through the so-called “Maxwellisation” process of assessing responses from individuals facing possible criticism in the final report.

Mr Wright has taken to displaying posters on his house in Balcarres Road, Leyland, as a personal protest.

Two banners show Tony Blair with devil horns coming out of his head, and questioning the cost to the country for his protection.

Mr Wright added: “It’s been all over the papers that it’s costing £16,000 a week to protect Tony Blair, but they couldn’t afford to supply our troops with proper protection.

“Those lads were requesting different vehicles with better protection, and having sat in Stephen’s inquest, it’s not nice to know that he would still be here if they’d been provided.

“The pain never goes away and it’s even worse when you look at photos and things like that.”