Brown to appear before Iraq war panel

The BBC and other media said late on Thursday they had learned that Brown had agreed to testify, despite the panel’s earlier ruling that he should only appear after the elections in order to keep politics out of the probe.

Brown has come under mounting pressure recently to explain his role in the government’s 2003 decision to back the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Brown, who was chancellor of the exchequer at the time in the government of his predecessor, Tony Blair, has said he would be “happy” to appear at the inquiry and had “nothing to hide”. Opposition spokesmen have urged Brown to “come clean” before the elections and to explain his role in financing the war effort. Last week, a former close aide of Blair told the panel that Brown had been closely involved in consultations and belonged to the “inner circle” of ministers taking the key decisions.

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