But if David Cameron is so keen to make the proceedings public, why doesn’t he commit to it himself? His word may have as much force as Brown’s.
Just imagine if Cameron said: “the next Tory government will publish all testimony given to the Chilcot inquiry.”
Given the expectations of a Tory election victory, from that point on the inquiry would effectively be public. Sure, the evidence sessions would be held in a closed room, at least until the election. But every witness would know they were speaking to the country.
Cameron could also make clear that the remit will change: the inquiry would be given the task of apportioning blame where necessary.
To ensure the committee was not thrown by the change, he could say there would be “no arbitrary time limit”. They could take as long as they needed.
Finally, Cameron could add that a Tory government would ignore concerns in Washington and grant the inquiry full access to all US documents in the UK archives.
These were all points Cameron made in the Commons debate on the inquiry. It seems simple enough: if Cameron thinks the inquiry should be conducted in this manner, why not promise to do it?