File photo of Bank of England governor Mark Carney during a news conference at the Bank of England in London

Mark Carney is up in front of the Treasury Select Committee. Brexit and the economy are in focus. The appearance by the governor of the Bank of England follows that of Theresa May in Parliament, her first since the summer recess, where she effectively ducked most questions on Brexit

Key points

  • Carney tells MPs he is “absolutely serene” about his comments warning of a post-Brexit downturn

  • Bank of England governor says he was “comfortable” with the rate cut decision taken in August

  • May tells House government will not disclose negotiating position on Brexit

  • PM Repeats assertion that she can trigger Article 50 Brexit divorce clause without consent of parliament.

 

Sir John Chilcot Delivers The Iraq Inquiry Report

Sir John Chilcot has released his long-awaited report on the UK involvement in the Iraq war, which has led to more than 500,000 civilian deaths in the country.

Sir John said the UK government “chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options of disarmament had been exhausted” and “military action at that time was not a last resort”.

Prime minister David Cameron tells MPs that the report is not “accusing anyone of deliberate explicit deceit” while Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, formally apologises on behalf of the Labour Party for taking the country to war.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair said he stood by his decision to back an invasion and that the report “should lay to rest allegations of bad faith, lies or deceit.”

Key findings

  • Blair committed to an invasion almost eight months before receiving parliamentary and legal backing

  • The invasion was based on “flawed intelligence and assessments” that went unchallenged

  • The UK was “undermining” the UN Security Council’s authority in the absence of majority support for military action.

  • The inquiry did not express a view on whether military action was legal but concluded “the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for UK military action were far from satisfactory”.

 

A screengrab taken from UK Parliaments P

Sir Philip Green faced MPs to give his account of what happened when he sold BHS last year to a consortium led by Dominic Chappell, an ex-bankrupt, who by his own admission knew nothing about retailing. The retailer went into administration earlier this year leaving future of its 11,000 staff in doubt and many of the 20,000 members of its pension scheme facing cuts to their retirement with the fund in need of a bailout estimated at £275m.

The flamboyant businessman’s appears in front of the parliamentary committee that last week heard a flavour of the internal feuding between management and new owners, including allegations a death threat was made against the chief executive and there plans to hive off assets before the retailer collapsed.

Key developments

  • Sir Philip said there is a plan “in motion” to resolve the BHS pension deficit

  • In a heated session, the retail entrepreneur avoided answering quite a lot of the detailed questions

  • But he does admit “unfortunately” he sold BHS “to the wrong guy.”

  • On several occasions during a near 6-hour hearing he accuses MPs on the committee of “bullying” him

  • He denies blocking a potential rescue bid by SportsDirect just before BHS collapsed

  • He hits out suggestions he was involved in tax avoidance and points out he and his companies have paid “hundreds of millions” in tax

By Mark Odell, Lauren Fedor, John Murray Brown and Lucinda Elliott