Low-key invite to TELIC veterans

By Andrew Mason

On Monday the Ministry of Defence website published a letter from Inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot to former participants of Operation TELIC (the 2003 Iraq campaign). This letter offers veterans the opportunity to give their views to the Iraq inquiry committee at a series of roadshows being held in London, Manchester, Bristol and later in Scotland and Northern Ireland, beginning on Wednesday 14 October 2009.

However, this letter has received very little publicity and has not so far appeared on the Iraq Inquiry website.

The MoD article is as follows:

TELIC veterans invited to take part in Iraq Inquiry

A Defence Policy and Business news article

5 Oct 09

Veterans and other participants in the UK involvement in Iraq are being asked for their input to the official inquiry into the conflict.

On 15 June 2009 the Prime Minister announced in Parliament that there would be an inquiry to examine and report on the British Government’s policies and their implementation, from summer 2001 to 31 July 2009, relating to the Iraq conflict and its aftermath.

Chairman of the Iraq Inquiry, Sir John Chilcot, has today sent an open letter to participants in the Iraq campaign (Operation TELIC) offering them the opportunity to give their views to the inquiry committee by attending one of a series of roadshows.

In the letter Sir John Chilcot says:

“At the launch of the Iraq Inquiry on 30 July I said that one of the committee’s first priorities was to hear from those affected by the Iraq conflict since 2003, including those who served in Iraq as part of Op TELIC.

“We have been pleased that some of you have already contacted the inquiry to let us know what you believe its priorities should be. This is to inform you that the committee will shortly be holding a series of open events across the country for TELIC veterans to participate in if they wish.

“The events will take place as follows:

Wednesday 14 October
Novotel St Pancras,
100-110 Euston Road, London NW1 2AJ
Between 1500 and 1700hrs

Friday 16 October
City Inn Hotel,
1 Auburn Street, 1 Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3DG
Between 1500 and 1700hrs

Friday 23 October
City Inn Hotel,
Temple Way, Bristol BS1 6BF
Between 1500 and 1700hrs

“There will also be events in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the details of which will be released shortly.

“I should emphasise that these events are by no means the only opportunity to give your views to the inquiry. We are happy to receive the thoughts of individuals who served during the campaign or from relevant groups or associations on behalf of their members. Please send any submissions to the Iraq Inquiry Secretariat [at the above address].

“The committee are grateful for your help in this aspect of the inquiry’s work and look forward to receiving your views in person or in writing.”

Should you wish to attend one of the events, please email the Inquiry Secretariat at secretariat@iraqinquiry.org.uk with your name and the event you plan to attend so that they have an idea of numbers. It would also help them to know your role in the campaign, eg, Service, Reservist, civilian, etc.

The Ministry of Defence is co-operating fully with the inquiry. Serving Armed Forces and MOD personnel who wish to attend the roadshows are encouraged to do so.

(Iraq Inquiry Digest located this press release via a LexisNexis news-feed repeating a Hindustan Times.com and US State News report.)