(Lib Dem members of the government have called for the publication of the Chilcot Report before the election)
Diane Abbott (Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Labour)
The delay in the publication of the Chilcot report is widely considered to be a scandal. Does the Prime Minister appreciate that it is important to find out exactly what has gone wrong? We have a major forthcoming inquiry into child sex abuse. The public would not understand if powerful people that might be named in that report are able to delay publication year after year, as seems to have happened with Chilcot.
David Cameron (The Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
I agree with the hon. Lady that it is important that the inquiries are done thoroughly and rapidly. My understanding is that there is no mystery in why it is taking so long. It is a thorough report. The people who are criticised in a report have to be given the opportunity to respond to all those criticisms. That is what is happening at the moment. From what I understand, I do not believe that anyone is trying dodge or put off the report—we all want to see it—but we have to go through the proper processes.
Let me make one other point clear. There is no question of the report being delivered to me and of my deciding not to publish it before the election. The whole report will not reach the Prime Minister’s desk, whoever that is, until after the election.