Geoff Hoon

Geoffrey William Hoon is the current Member of Parliament for Ashfield. He held the position of Secretary of State for Defence from 11 October 1999 to 5 May 2005, when he was replaced by the appointment of John Reid, who assumed the post on the occasion of the Labour Party’s re-election at the May 2005 polls. In an exclusive interview given on 2 May 2007 to Patrick Wintour, political editor for the Guardian,  he stated: “I saw intelligence from the first time I came into office, in May 1999 – week in, week out – that said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction … I have real difficulty in understanding why it was, over such a long period of time, we were told this and, moreover, why we acted upon it.”

Questions for Geoff Hoon

Here are some of the questions (under a number of general headings) that we believe the Inquiry should ask Geoff Hoon.

We would welcome any further suggested questions, particularly if they come with an explanation of why they are relevant. If you would like suggest questions that go some way to refining the ones we already have here or which raise different issues, please use the comment box at the bottom of the page. (Or otherwise feel free to contact us directly if you prefer to remain anonymous.)

MoD’s understanding of the WMD threat from Iraq

What was the MoD’s overall assessment of the threat of Iraqi WMD?

Did the MoD have any independent lines of reporting concerning Iraqi WMD?

If so, what were they?

Did the MoD have any information from any source which confirmed that Iraq maintained WMD stockpiles?

If so, what was this information and when was it obtained?

Did the MoD have any information which suggested that Iraq did not maintain stockpiles of WMD?

If so, what was this information and when was it obtained?

MoD opinion of legality

Following the passage of UNSCR 1441, what was the assessment of the MoD’s legal advisers on the legality of the proposed Iraq invasion?

Did leading Armed Forces commanders seek their own legal advice from the MoD legal advisers?

If so, what was the nature of this advice?

Were the MoD’s legal advisers in full agreement or did they disagree with each other on these matters?

Commitment to war

When did the MoD first become aware of any firm commitment to support the then forthcoming Iraq invasion with UK military forces?

What further steps did the MoD then take with regard to this?

When were these steps initiated?

When did the MoD receive formal notice from 10 Downing Street to commence preparation for the invasion of Iraq?

What was the MoD’s position on the timing of the actual start date?

Cabinet meetings

Was there any Cabinet discussion about the start date for any military action against Iraq?

Was the matter of UNMOVIC’s continuing work brought up at Cabinet meetings?

Possible dissent

Was the MoD aware of any dissent within the intelligence community about the strength of the language used in the September dossier?

Was there any dissent within the MoD itself about the strength of the language used in the September dossier or about other claims made about Iraq’s WMD?

Was there any dissent within the MoD as a whole about the reasoning behind the planning to overthrow Saddam Hussein?

Preparation for the post-invasion period

What involvement did the MoD have in the overall post-invasion reconstruction plans?

What discussions did the MoD have with US officials regarding post-invasion reconstruction plans?

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