Iraq Inquiry panel member Sir Martin Gilbert dies aged 78

Sir Martin Gilbert has died aged 78 Credit: PA

Sir Martin Gilbert, a member of the Iraq Inquiry panel, died last night after a long illness, chairman Sir John Chilcot said today.

The 78-year-old historian and Churchill biographer wrote more than 80 books, including works on the Holocaust and Jewish history.

Sir John told the Foreign Affairs Committee the Iraq inquiry had benefited from the historian's "wisdom and insights".

"Can I say with great sadness that I have to tell the committee that Sir Martin Gilbert died peacefully last night after a long and serious illness," he said.