News Release


The Committee under Lord Butler established by the Prime Minister to conduct a Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction met on 11 February to consider its programme of work. It does not intend to issue any statements about the progress of that work until publication of its final report.

The Committee will in due course be taking oral evidence from a number of witnesses at its own invitation. But it also invites anyone who has information that might assist it in considering its remit to submit evidence by 31 March 2004:

  • By post, to the Secretary, The Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction, 70 Whitehall, London SW1A 2AS.
  • By e-mail, to

The Committee will make its Procedures known shortly. In doing so, the Committee’s aim will be to ensure that persons appearing before it, or who have an interest in the outcome of the Review, are treated fairly in giving their evidence and in the manner in which their evidence is taken into account when the Committee reports. The Committee intends to report before the Parliamentary Summer Recess. The Committee will focus initially on assimilating a large body of written material. It is likely to begin taking oral evidence around the beginning of April. In the interests of not conveying a limited, partial or distorted public impression of the evidence, much of which must necessarily remain secret, the Committee has decided that the Review will be carried out in private.

Those appearing in person before the Committee will be questioned by the Committee, not by legal Counsel. The Committee will focus principally on structures, systems and processes rather than on the actions of individuals. The Committee will be willing to consider requests for the protection of the identity of individual witnesses.


The Review was announced by the Foreign Secretary in the House of Commons on 3 February. It has the following Terms of Reference:

  • To investigate the intelligence coverage available on WMD programmes of countries of concern and on the global trade in WMD, taking into account what is now known about these programmes.
  • As part of this work, to investigate the accuracy of intelligence on Iraqi WMD up to March 2003, and to examine any discrepancies between the intelligence gathered, evaluated and used by the Government before the conflict, and between that intelligence and what has been discovered by the Iraq Survey Group since the end of the conflict.
  • To make recommendations to the Prime Minister for the future on the gathering, evaluation and use of intelligence on WMD, in the light of the difficulties of operating in countries of concern.

Its members are the Right Honourable the Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO (Chairman); the Right Honourable Sir John Chilcot GCB; the Right Honourable Field Marshal the Lord Inge KG GCB DL; the Right Honourable Michael Mates MP; and the Right Honourable Ann Taylor MP.

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

Media queries relating to the Butler Review should be directed to Cabinet Office Press Office, telephone 020 7276 0436/0174.