Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Sir John Chilcot delivered a 30 minute statement in Westminster today before his seven-year-long inquiry into the Iraq War was released to the public.

While Chilcot stopped short of using the words 'lying', 'lies' or 'liar' - and no one has got through the 2.6million word report yet - he was highly criticial of then prime minister's Tony Blair's decision making both in the run up to the 2003 invasion and its aftermath.

Picture: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Blair himself has reiterated now the report has been published that he made every choice "in good faith."

Five of Blair's key claims have been found to be shaky by historians since. Now they have been officially found so too:

1. Saddam Hussein won't co-operate, we have no choice

Chilcot said:

We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted.

Military action at that time was not a last resort.

2. Iraq's weapons of mass destruction could be activated in just 45 minutes

Chilcot said:

The judgements about Iraq’s capabilities in that statement and in the dossier published the same day were presented with a certainty that was not justified. The Joint Intelligence Committee should have made clear to Mr Blair that the assessed intelligence had not established beyond doubt either that Iraq continued to produce chemical and biological weapons, or that efforts to develop nuclear weapons continued.

3. The UK can influence US decisions, we have a special relationship

Chilcot said:

Some [lessons] about the management of relations with allies, especially the US.

Mr Blair overestimated his ability to influence US decisions on Iraq. The UK’s relationship with the US has proved strong enough over time to bear the weight of honest disagreement.

It does not require unconditional support where our interests or judgements differ.

4. Removing Saddam Hussein will make Britons safer

Mr Blair had been warned, however, that military action would increase the threat from Al Qaeda to the UK and to UK interests.

He had also been warned that an invasion might lead to Iraq’s weapons and capabilities being transferred into the hands of terrorists.

5. The ensuing chaos in Iraq could not have been predicted

Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated.

The planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam Hussein were wholly inadequate.

Follow the Independent's live blog on the today's news about the Chilcot report as it emerges here.

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