The former attorney general Lord Goldsmith has received legal advice from public funds to help him prepare his evidence tomorrow to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, the Guardian has learned.I was going to ask, why would a former Attorney General need legal advice? I mean, like, the Attorney General would need to know a lot of law, and it's not the kind of thing you forget when you resign, innit? Then I remembered we are talking about Lord Goldsmith; yes, that Lord Goldsmith.
His request for help emerged today after the inquiry heard damning evidence about how under strong pressure from ministers, notably the then foreign secretary Jack Straw, Goldsmith changed his mind about the legality of the war at the last minute, saying it was lawful after all.
David Brummell, Goldsmith's most senior adviser, told the inquiry that Straw was "duly grateful" when he heard that the attorney general had changed his position.
A spokesperson for the attorney general, Lady Scotland, said today that Goldsmith had help preparing for his testimony from a barrister contracted to work for him by the Treasury solicitors. In a statement, her office said that like other witnesses he had been provided with "basic legal support" as the inquiry originally proposed.