Sir John Chilcot 'disappointed' over ban on disclosing secret talks between Tony Blair and George Bush

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Sir John Chilcot said he was ‘disappointed’ after being blocked from disclosing the contents of secret talks between Tony Blair and United States President George W Bush.

Correspondence between the two leaders in the run-up to the Iraq war will remain classified, along with notes of a meeting at which the then-prime minister is said to have “signed in blood” an agreement to send British troops to topple Saddam Hussein.

In a statement at the start of the resumed hearings, Sir John said he was disappointed that repeated requests to Sir Gus O’Donnell, head of the civil service, to allow publication of the memos had been rejected.

During an exchange of letters, the Inquiry chairman argued that their contents provided a “unique” insight into Mr Blair’s thinking in the run-up to the war.

He made clear that it would be more difficult to question the former prime minister when he gives evidence for a second time on Friday without reference to the letters and notes....

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