Gordon Brown appears at the Inquiry this week. Here are some of the questions (under a number of general headings) that we believe the Inquiry should ask him. If a question appears as a link, it will take you to an explanation of the question or some information about its context.
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 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.)
Role as Chancellor
Alastair Campbell’s diaries reveal that at the Downing Street meeting of 23 July 2003, Tony Blair said that “he did not want discussions with and other departments at this stage… He meant the Treasury because Boyce had been talking about the need for new money, e.g. for tank desertification.” Do you feel that Blair deliberately kept his war plans from you? Was he right to do this?
What requests did you receive for additional funding for the invasion of Iraq and how did you respond?
What requests did you receive for additional funding for post-invasion reconstruction of Iraq?
Role as senior Cabinet Member
Knowledge of plans for regime change
Did you see the March 2002 Cabinet Office Options paper?
Reasons for backing the war
Did you believe in March 2003 that Iraq had committed a further breach of UNSCR 1441 after it had agreed to accept it?
Did you come to the conclusion that Iraq had failed do disclose something?
What did Iraq fail to disclose? What was the evidence for that?
Did you see a document that demonstrated this? Who wrote this document, using which evidence?
Was alleged Iraqi non-compliance discussed in Cabinet? At which meeting?
Do you think that it was correct for one country to decide on its own whether or not there was a further material breach of UN resolutions?
Since it has become clear that Iraq did not have WMD, does Brown still think that there was a failure to comply with demands on disclosure?
Cabinet discussion – or otherwise – of the legality of the war
Were you aware that Lord Goldsmith had initially advised, even after UNSCR 1441, that invading Iraq without further, express UN authorisation would be illegal?
Were you aware that Lord Goldsmith was persuaded to change his mind by Bush administration officials?
Were you aware that Goldsmith wrote a long, detailed and equivocal assessment of the legality of the war on 7 March 2003 and if so, did you see that advice?
Should you have been shown that advice?
Were you aware that Goldsmith thought he should tell the Cabinet that the legal issues were finely balanced but was dissuaded from doing so by Jack Straw?
Do you agree that that was the right thing to do?
Did you have concerns about the arguments set out in Goldsmith’s paper presented to the Cabinet on 17 March 2003?
Were you fully aware on 17 March 2003 of the legal risks of the invasion? Did you know that Goldsmith could not be sure that a court would agree with his view and that the safest course was a further UN resolution?
Do you now accept the final version of Goldsmith’s advice ?
Do you feel, given that all 1441 was demanding was compliance with the inspection regime, that the invasion and occupation was an appropriate and proportionate set of actions to accomplish such compliance?
Role as Prime Minister
Why were British troops kept in Iraq until 2009?