Sir John Chilcot, who published the damning inquiry into the Iraq war, has died aged 82.
The civil servant’s report determined that Prime Minister Tony Blair had not been “straight” with the British public on the justifications for invading Iraq in 2003.
The inquiry took seven years to complete after Chilcot was appointed by Gordon Brown in June 2009. The report was finally published in July 2016 and totalled 2.6m words.
It was concluded that while military action may have been necessary later, in March 2003 there was no imminent threat from Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein.
Chilcot was survived by Rosalind Forster, an artist, whom he married in 1964. He died of kidney disease on October 3, 2021.
Chilcot grew up in Brighton and went on to win a scholarship to Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he studied English and modern languages.
He joined the Home Office in 1963, quickly joining the private office of the home secretary, Roy Jenkins, in 1963. He was then selected as private secretary to then head of the civil service, Sir William Armstrong, in 1971.
Chilcot became director of personnel and finance at the prison department in 1980, before moving to the Cabinet Office in 1984. Three years later, he moved back to the home office to oversee the police.
The next role for Chilcot was permanent secretary at the Northern Ireland Office, which he fulfilled for seven years, in which time the IRA ceasefire of September 1994 was achieved.
Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Louise Haigh, tweeted that she was “very sorry” to hear the news.
“Rightly famous for the Iraq War Inquiry, he played a pivotal role in the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement,” she said.