For days, columnists have been positing their own questions for Blair to answer about the invasion of Iraq. Today, for six hours, the five members of the Chilcot Inquiry have been asking the ones Blair actually has to answer.
For the latest events, see our Westminster team’s live blog. On this blog we will be summing up the reaction, which, unsurprisingly, started hitting newspaper websites and other blogs almost as soon as Blair sat down.
Anthony Seldon, Blair’s biographer, set the stage well for today’s drama in this morning’s Times, in which he argued Iraq was “this country’s Watergate”. There has been a tendency for observers to be cynical about Blair’s appearance today, saying that nothing new will be learned. But Seldon makes the valid point that it is an important moment in British political history, if nothing else. “We have never seen a day like this in British history, with a former Prime Minister being publicly questioned about such a contentious policy,” he writes.
But has it turned out to be more than just a symbolically important occasion, and has it told us something new?