Stack of books

Sir John Chilcot already working on thrilling Libya-set sequel to Iraq report


Stack of books

The retired civil servant Sir John Chilcot has today revealed that he is already planning a thrilling sequel to the report produced by his inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War. The new work will be similar in structure and theme to the first, focusing on a group of inept politicians who launch a bloody and incompetent military intervention in Libya, and will retain some of the same characters that appeared in the first report.

Buoyed by the rapt attention with which his initial work has been received, the 77-year-old commented that “there’s no reason not to push this a bit further,” saying that “as long as people are happy to read, I’ll keep right on writing.”

“The plotline will move forwards a few years, to March 2011 or thereabouts,” Chilcot disclosed this afternoon. “And some of the key characters will probably be dispensed with or relegated to the background. But some of the less central ones that were featured in the first report will be retained, and given bigger parts.”

A teaser sample released on Chilcot’s website suggests that fans of David Cameron MP, a minor character in the first report who is widely considered a literary representation of the assorted moral, ideological and intellectual inadequacies of contemporary British politics, will be in for a particular treat, and that several characters belonging to the fictitious Liberal Democratic party may also be redeployed in challenging and surprising new roles.

Pushed on whether it is at all realistic to assume that the protagonists of his first report would really witness a catastrophe as enormous as that depicted in the work without learning decisive lessons that would modify their behaviour going forwards, Chilcot declined to comment, simply pointing out that, given the stupendous success of his first report, there is no reason not to commission a sequel.

“Obviously, if the first report had been a horrifying, blood-soaked failure, contributing to hundreds of thousands of deaths and the destabilisation of an entire region, I’d not be looking to write another, very similar one,” the former government employee told reporters. “That would be monumentally idiotic and breathtakingly irresponsible.”

Chilcot’s publishers are understood to have welcomed the news, but also to have cautioned him to avoid repeated delays, missed deadlines and postponements of the kind that blighted his debut work.

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