News Release

1 March 2004



The Committee regrets the decision by the Leader of the Opposition to withdraw the support of the Conservative Party from the Review.

When the full Committee met Mr Howard on 17 February, the members made it very clear that they would follow the analysis wherever it led, including uncovering any faults by individuals. The Committee must start by looking at structures, processes and systems before considering which, if any, individuals should be held accountable. The Committee's procedures make clear that this is allowed for, but the Committee will not start with the primary purpose of pursuing individuals.

The Committee has been asked to make recommendations for the future gathering, evaluation and use of intelligence about weapons of mass destruction. These are tasks of real importance and the Committee is determined to see them through.

The other members of the Committee have expressed their hope to Michael Mates that he will continue to serve on the Committee, as invited to do by the Prime Minister. He has said that he will do so.

Issued by the Cabinet Office on behalf of the Butler Review Committee.

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