Chilcot Report: North East mothers vindicated over Iraq War findings

Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott Credit: Ministry of Defence

By Kris Jepson

Vowing to keep fighting for the former Prime Minister to be held accountable in the law courts, the families are now taking legal advice on where they go next.

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Elsie Manning is the mother of Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott, who was killed when her patrol boat was attacked in Basra in November 2006. She told me she was pleasantly surprised by Sir John Chilcot’s speech.

Tony Blair said in a two hour press conference that he had “sorrow and regret” over Iraq, but claimed there were no lies when it came to the reasons for going to Iraq.

That is something Pat Long disagrees with. Her son, Corporal Paul Long, was killed when a 400-strong mob attacked him and six other Red Caps outside a Majar al Kabir police station in 2003.

Pointing to Chilcot’s remark that Britain chose to join the Iraq invasion before all peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted, she told me, "he didn’t go through parliament or the government. He lied to everybody and he lied to my son. Just to think, my son could have still been here today”.

For Janice Procter, whose son Private Michael Tench was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra in 2007, still feels her questions have not been answered by the inquiry.

Private Michael Tench Credit: Ministry of Defence