Page last updated at 14:06 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010

Blair to face Iraq inquiry on 29 January

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair will give evidence to the Iraq inquiry on 29 January, it has been announced.

Mr Blair, the highest profile figure to appear before the panel, will face six hours of questioning.

A public ballot will be held later on Monday for people wanting seats to watch his evidence session.

Mr Blair, prime minister during the Iraq war in 2003, is expected to answer questions about the build-up to war and planning for its aftermath.

His former Downing Street chief-of-staff Jonathan Powell is now facing the committee, chaired by Sir John Chilcot.

He will be followed this week by the former defence secretary Geoff Hoon and Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who was serving as foreign secretary in 2003.

The ballot for the appearance by Mr Blair is for 60 seats, with a third of the places being set aside for bereaved families of service personnel or other Britons killed in Iraq.

Last week Mr Blair's former director of communications Alastair Campbell appeared before the panel.

He said he defended "every single word" of the 2002 dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

The inquiry is looking at UK policy before and after the 2003 war.

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