Iraq inquiry: Government legal official will disclose advice given to ministers

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Sir Michael Wood, the former top legal adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has been given permission from the Attorney-General to break with protocol and disclose advice given to ministers in the build-up to the Iraq war.

The move by Baroness Scotland effectively allows Sir Michael to give unrestricted evidence to the Chilcot inquiry when he appears tomorrow morning. His comments will form part of what is expected to be an explosive week of testimonies from officials, the former Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith and Tony Blair.

Sir Michael is expected to reveal to the inquiry disagreements within the Government before the decision was taken to attack Iraq. He will be questioned over whether it was the case that lawyers believed the war would have been unlawful without a second UN resolution.

Lord Goldsmith is expected to receive intense questioning when he gives evidence on Wednesday. He is thought to have changed his mind about the legality of the war in the days leading up to the invasion in March 2003. He will be scrutinised over details of conversations he had with Mr Blair before announcing his judgment that a war against Iraq would be lawful.

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