POLITICS

Tony Blair Snaps At BBC Reporter Over Chilcot Delay Questions

21/01/2015 15:20 GMT | Updated 21/01/2015 15:59 GMT

Tony Blair was today confronted with questions about the delay to the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war, after it was confirmed the findings would not be published until after the election.

The former prime minister was quizzed as he walked gingerly over the ice while exiting a conference centre in Davos where he is attending the World Economic Forum.

"Mr Blair what is our reaction to the delay in the Chilcot report?" the reporter asked.

Blair replied: "I've put out a statement you can see it."

The reporter tried again: "Did you cause the delay?" However Blair refused to answer.

"Do voters have a right to know the contents of the report before the general election?" the reporter asked once more, as Blair approached his car.

The former prime minister turned and said, curtly: "I just told you I put out a statement, so you can go and read the statement."

On Wednesday afternoon, Blair's office issued a statement denying he was responsible for the delay in the report, it read:

"While we do not intend to provide a running commentary on the process involved in the publication of the report, it is important to state the following for the sake of clarity.

"We have repeatedly said that it is not true to say that Tony Blair has caused the delay in the report’s publication.

"Sir John’s letter makes reference to notes and records concerning Mr Blair, which some may interpret as an implicit suggestion that Mr Blair caused the delay, this is not true. On the contrary, he regrets this delay in its publication.

"Incorrect allegations and politically motivated speculation do nothing to shine a light on the issues involved. It is an independent inquiry and it should be allowed to proceed with its work."