Statement by Lord Hutton - Inquiry Report Released
Statement by Lord Hutton
THE HUTTON INQUIRY
BY LORD HUTTON
ON 28 JANUARY 2004
I have today delivered to Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, my report into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly CMG. The purpose of my statement today is to seek to state, in brief summary, the contents of my report, which contains 328 pages plus appendices, and to state the conclusions to which I have come.
Prior to the publication of the report I did not publish on the Inquiry website the final written submissions and comments of the parties submitted to the Inquiry after the final oral statements by counsel for the parties for the reason set out in a statement which I issued on 7 January. The reason was that the parties objected to publication of the final written submissions before publication of the report because it would encourage the trial of various individuals (against whom no criticism might be made in the report) by the media and this would be unfair. Having considered this objection I decided that the final written submissions should not be published pending the publication of the report. However, now that the report is about to be published I have decided, and have informed the parties, that the parties' final written submissions and comments to the Inquiry should be published on the website, and they will begin to be put on the website today.
My terms of reference were:
"urgently to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly."
In paragraphs 9, 10 and 11 I state my opinion as to what my terms of reference require me to consider and I say:
"these terms of reference required me to consider the circumstances preceding and leading up to the death of Dr Kelly insofar as (1) they might have had an effect on his state of mind and influenced his actions preceding and leading up to his death or (2) they might have influenced the actions of others which affected Dr Kelly preceding and leading up to his death. There has been a great deal of controversy and debate whether the intelligence in relation to weapons of mass destruction set out in the dossier published by the Government on 24 September 2002 was of sufficient strength and reliability to justify the Government in deciding that Iraq under Saddam Hussein posed such a threat to the safety and interests of the United Kingdom that military action should be taken against that country. This controversy and debate has continued because of the failure, up to the time of writing this report, to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I gave careful consideration to the view expressed by a number of public figures and commentators that my terms of reference required or, at least, entitled me to consider this issue. However I concluded that a question of such wide import, which would involve the consideration of a wide range of evidence, is not one which falls within my terms of reference. The major controversy which arose following Mr Andrew Gilligan's broadcasts on the BBC Today programme on 29 May 2003 and which closely involved Dr Kelly arose from the allegations in the broadcasts (1) that the Government probably knew, before it decided to put it in its dossier of 24 September 2002, that the statement was wrong that the Iraqi military were able to deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes of a decision to do so and (2) that 10 Downing Street ordered the dossier to be sexed up. It was these allegations attacking the integrity of the Government which drew Dr Kelly into the controversy about the broadcasts and which I consider I should examine under my terms of reference. The issue whether, if approved by the Joint Intelligence Committee and believed by the Government to be reliable, the intelligence contained in the dossier was nevertheless unreliable, is a separate issue which I consider does not fall within my terms of reference."
I also state in paragraphs 10 and 11:
"I further consider that one of my primary duties in carrying out my terms of reference is, after hearing the evidence of many witnesses, to state in considerable detail the relevant facts surrounding Dr Kelly's death and also, insofar as I can determine them, the motives and reasons operating in the minds of those who took various decisions and carried out various actions which affected Dr Kelly."
"In order to enable the public to be as fully informed as possible I have also decided, rather than set out a summary of the evidence, to set out in this report many parts of the transcript of the evidence so that the public can read what the witnesses said and can understand why I have come to the conclusions which I state."
Before setting out the relevant facts I say:
"At the outset I state, for reasons which I will set out in greater detail in a later part of this report, that I am satisfied that Dr Kelly took his own life by cutting his left wrist and that his death was hastened by his taking Coproxamol tablets. I am further satisfied that there was no involvement by a third person in Dr Kelly's death."
"I also consider it to be important to state in this early part of the report that I am satisfied that none of the persons whose decisions and actions I later describe ever contemplated that Dr Kelly might take his own life. I am further satisfied that none of those persons was at fault in not contemplating that Dr Kelly might take his own life. Whatever pressures and strains Dr Kelly was subjected to by the decisions and actions taken in the weeks before his death, I am satisfied that no one realised or should have realised that those pressures and strains might drive him to take his own life or to contribute to his decision to do so."
I then set out in some detail the relevant events which preceded the summer of last year and the events which took place during that summer before Dr Kelly's death.
In that summary of facts I describe Dr Kelly's distinguished career as a Government scientist and I say:
"In 1991 Dr Kelly became one of the chief weapons inspectors in Iraq on behalf of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and from 1991 onwards was deeply involved in investigating the biological warfare programme of the Iraqi regime. These investigations resulted in 1995 in UNSCOM making a breakthrough and forcing the Iraqi regime to admit that it did have a biological warfare programme. During the 1990s Dr Kelly built up a high reputation as a weapons inspector, not only in the United Kingdom but internationally, and he was described in evidence by the journalist and author, Mr Tom Mangold, who knew him well, as the "inspector's inspector". The contribution made by Dr Kelly and the importance of his work was recognised by the Government and in 1996 he was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (C.M.G.), the material part of the citation for the award stating:
... he devised the scientific basis for the enhanced biological warfare defence programme and led strong research groups in many key areas. Following the Gulf War he led the first biological warfare inspection in Iraq and has spent most of his time since, either in Iraq or at various sites in the former Soviet Union helping to shed light on past biological warfare related activities and assisting the UK/US RUS trilateral confidence building process. He has pursued this work tirelessly and with good humour despite the significant hardship, hostility and personal risk encountered during extended periods of service in both countries. In 1991 he was appointed adviser to the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM). His efforts in his specialist field have had consequences of international significance."
"It appears that in May 2003 Dr Kelly was being considered for a further award (which might well have been a knighthood as he had already been awarded the C.M.G.) because a minute to Heads of Department in the FCO dated 9 May 2003 requested recommendations for the Diplomatic Service List and on 14 May an official wrote the following manuscript note on the minute:
'How about David Kelly? (Iraq being topical).' "
I then describe the publication on 24th September 2002 of the Government's dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. It included the claim that the Iraqi military were able to deploy chemical or biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to use them (and I refer to this claim as "the 45 minutes claim").
I then refer to the Intelligence and Security Committee, which is a Committee of Members of Parliament, established in 1994, to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the United Kingdom's three intelligence and security agencies. In May 2003 that Committee decided to examine the intelligence relating to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
On 22nd May 2003 Dr Kelly met Mr Andrew Gilligan, the Defence and Diplomatic Correspondent of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, in the Charing Cross Hotel, London, and had a discussion with him, and I describe this discussion later in the report in more detail.
On 29th May 2003 Mr Gilligan broadcast on the BBC Today programme a number of reports relating to the Government dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. The reports were quite lengthy ones, but in the first report at 6.07am introduced by the presenter, Mr John Humphrys the following was said:
"JH: The government is facing more questions this morning over its claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Our defence correspondent is Andrew Gilligan. This in particular Andy is Tony Blair saying, they'd be ready to go within forty five minutes.
Andrew Gilligan (AG): That's right, that was the central claim in his dossier which he published in September, the main erm, case if you like against er, against Iraq and the main statement of the British government's belief of what it thought Iraq was up to and what we've been told by one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up that dossier was that, actually the government probably erm, knew that that forty five minute figure was wrong, even before it decided to put it in. What this person says, is that a week before the publication date of the dossier, it was actually rather erm, a bland production. It didn't, the, the draft prepared for Mr Blair by the Intelligence Agencies actually didn't say very much more than was public knowledge already and erm, Downing Street, our source says ordered a week before publication, ordered it to be sexed up, to be made more exciting and ordered more facts to be er, to be discovered."
The allegation in the broadcast that the Government probably knew that the 45 minute figure was wrong even before it decided to put it in, was a very grave allegation which attacked the integrity of the Government and the integrity of the Joint Intelligence Committee and gave rise to a major controversy which dominated the headlines for many days.
On 1st June 2003 the Mail on Sunday published an article written by Mr Gilligan describing his discussion with his source in a central London hotel. Part of the article stated that:
"[the Government's dossier on Iraq's WMD] was transformed the week before publication, to make it sexier."
"I asked him how this transformation happened. The answer was a single word 'Campbell'."
On 30th May Ms Susan Watts, the Science Editor of BBC Newsnight, contacted Dr Kelly on the telephone and they had a lengthy conversation about the 45 minutes claim in the Government dossier and the views of the intelligence community about it. Ms Watts recorded this conversation on a tape recorder and the recording was played in the course of the Inquiry.
Mr Gilligan's broadcasts on the 27th May having given rise to a major controversy, the Foreign Affairs Select Committee at the House of Commons announced on 3rd June that it would hold an inquiry into the decision to go to war in Iraq, and it is clear that the allegations reported by Mr Gilligan were one of the reasons why the FAC decided to hold its inquiry.
On 19th June Mr Gilligan gave evidence to the FAC in relation to his reports on the Today programme on 29th May in respect of the Government's dossier. In his evidence he stated that his reports were based on a single source but he did not identify this source. On 25th June Mr Alastair Campbell gave evidence in relation to the Government's dossier. In the course of his evidence he said that it was untrue for the BBC to allege that the Government took the country into military conflict on the basis of a lie and he further said:
"... the story that I 'sexed-up' the dossier is untrue: the story that I 'put pressure on the intelligence agencies' is untrue: the story that we somehow made more of the 45 minutes command and control point than the intelligence agencies thought was suitable is untrue."
Mr Campbell also asserted that large parts of the BBC had an anti-war agenda.
On 30th June Dr Kelly wrote a lengthy letter to Dr Wells, his line manager in the MoD, in which he stated that he had met Mr Gilligan on 22nd May, but that he was convinced that he was not Mr Gilligan's primary source of information.
Dr Wells received Dr Kelly's letter on 1st July and numerous discussions and meeting then took place within the Government as to what action it should take in respect of Dr Kelly's statement that he had met Mr Gilligan.
On the evening of Sunday 6th July there was a special meeting of the Board of Governors of the BBC and after the meeting, Mr Gavyn Davies, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the BBC, issued a statement stating that the BBC's overall coverage of the war, and the political issues surrounding it, had been entirely impartial, and that the Board emphatically rejected Mr Campbell's claim that large parts of the BBC had an agenda against the war. The statement also said:
"The Board is satisfied that it was in the public interest to broadcast Mr Gilligan's story, given the information which was available to BBC News at the time. We believe it would not have been in the public interest to have suppressed the stories on either the Today programme or Newsnight."
It was known that the FAC would publish its report of its Inquiry into the decision to go to war in Iraq on Monday 7th July and the report was published on the morning of 7th July. One of the recommendations in the report was that:
"We recommend that Andrew Gilligan's alleged contacts be thoroughly investigated. We further recommend that the Government review links between the security and intelligence agencies, the media and Parliament and the rules which apply to them."
The Prime Minister and a number of very senior officials became directly involved in the discussions relating to what action should be taken by the Government in respect of Dr Kelly's statement to the MoD that he had met Mr Gilligan. In the course of his evidence I asked the Prime Minister why so many senior officials were concerned with the matter. The Prime Minister replied:
"I think it was really that this was - I mean, this whole issue was still the dominant issue. You had the Foreign Affairs Select Committee report on the Monday into really the nature of the allegation. Then suddenly at the last minute comes forward somebody who might be the source. And I think there was a real concern on the part of everyone - we were in a quandary, frankly, right from the very beginning. The Foreign Affairs Select Committee is about to report on the Monday, the report is going to deal precisely with the Andrew Gilligan's allegations and here is somebody who suddenly emerges as the person who may be the source of those allegations."
"I think the reason why people were involved at a senior level in the Civil Service were first of all that it was very important. Secondly, certainly as the matter developed, I was very, very keen, indeed insistent, that we did have the senior people involved because I anticipated right from the very beginning that there were going to be a lot of questions asked afterwards about: when did you know? Why did you not tell the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee? How could you let them make their report on Monday when you were in possession of information plainly relevant to their report? That was I think the explanation as to why people at a senior level were involved."
Following a decision taken in Number 10 Downing Street at a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister on Tuesday 8th July, it was decided that the MoD should issue a statement that a civil servant, who was not named, had come forward to volunteer that he had met Mr Gilligan on 22nd May.
Later on the afternoon of Tuesday 8th July Mr Richard Hatfield, the Director of Personnel at the MoD telephoned Dr Kelly and read over to him the text of the statement which was to be issued and Dr Kelly said he was content with it. Mr Hatfield then told Dr Kelly that the statement would be issued very soon and that he should talk to the MoD press office and to his line manager about support.
The press statement was issued by the MoD about 5.45pm on Tuesday 8th July and commenced by stating:
"An individual working in the MoD has come forward to volunteer that he met Andrew Gilligan of the BBC on May 22. It was an unauthorised meeting. It took place one week before Mr Gilligan broadcast allegations against the Government about the WMD dossier on the Today programme."
On the evening of 8th July the BBC issued a press statement referring to the MoD statement. In its statement the BBC said that the description of the individual contained in the MoD statement did not match Mr Gilligan's source in some important respects and that they (the BBC) stood by Mr Gilligan's reporting of his source.
It is apparent from evidence given by Mrs Kelly that Dr Kelly appreciated that after the MoD press statement was issued on 8th July his name would soon become public knowledge.
In her evidence Mrs Kelly described watching the television news with Dr Kelly on the evening of Tuesday 8th July and the main item on the news was that a source had identified itself. Mrs Kelly said:
"Immediately David said to me 'it's me'... My reaction was total dismay. My heart sank. I was terribly worried because the fact that he said that to me, I knew then he was aware his name would be in the public domain quite soon. He confirmed that feeling of course... because the MoD had revealed that a source had made itself known, he, in his own mind, said that he knew from that point that the press would soon put two and two together. We have an amazing press in this country who it does not take them long to find out details of this sort and he is well known of course in his field, so that would have been another easy job for them."
On the evening of Tuesday 8th July the chief press officer in the MoD telephoned Dr Kelly to alert him to the high level of media interest in the statement which the MoD had issued and to advise him that he might want to consider staying with friends.
On Wednesday 9th July there continued to be a great volume of press interest in the name of the civil servant who had come forward and the MoD press office received many calls from journalists seeking more information and trying to identify the civil servant. The press officers in the MoD were working from a question and answer brief which had been given to them by the MoD and they did not volunteer Dr Kelly's name, but the brief stated that if the correct name were put by a journalist it should be confirmed. About 5.30pm the Financial Times put Dr Kelly's name to the Director of News in the MoD and she confirmed the name. Shortly afterwards the Guardian, the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph put Dr Kelly's name to a press officer and the name was confirmed. The name was also confirmed to the Times after it had put twenty names.
About 6pm the chief press officer in the MoD heard that Dr Kelly's name had been confirmed to the press. She then telephoned the office of the Permanent Under Secretary of State at the MoD and requested his private secretary to ask Dr Kelly's line manager, Dr Wells, to ring Dr Kelly to tell him that his name had been confirmed to the press. The private secretary tried to contact Dr Wells by telephone for about half an hour and finally got in touch with him about 7pm when Dr Wells was on a train travelling home. Dr Wells then rang Dr Kelly a few minutes after 7pm from the train on his mobile telephone and told him that he had been asked to pass on the message that the press office had confirmed his name to the press.
In the late afternoon of 9th July Mr Nicholas Rufford, a reporter from the Sunday Times, drove to Dr Kelly's house in Oxfordshire because he suspected that Dr Kelly might be the person who had spoken to Mr Gilligan. He arrived at Dr Kelly's house about 7.30pm and saw him in his garden. Dr Kelly told him that he had just had a call from the MoD telling him that he would be named in national newspapers the following day. Mr Rufford told him that the press were on their way in droves. After a short conversation Mr Rufford left Dr Kelly's garden.
About 8pm Dr Kelly telephoned the chief press officer of the MoD and told her that Nick Rufford had been in contact with him and asked him why he was not now in a hotel, and Dr Kelly said that he had told him that he was now minded to go to family or friends and he would be heading for the West Country and would let her know where he was when he got there. Dr Kelly and his wife then packed some clothes very quickly and left their house in a rush within ten minutes. They spent that night in Weston-super-Mare and the next day travelled to Cornwall where Dr Kelly stayed with his wife until Sunday 13th July when he drove to the home of his daughter, Miss Rachel Kelly, in Oxford, leaving Mrs Kelly at their friends' house in Cornwall.
On Thursday 10th July both the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Intelligence and Security Committee requested Dr Kelly to appear before them to give evidence. The MoD agreed to him doing so and Dr Kelly himself also agreed to do so, and he gave evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee in a hearing televised to the public on 15th July, and he gave evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee in a private hearing on 16th July.
On 14th July Mr Gilligan had sent an e-mail to be passed on to a member or members of the Foreign Affairs Committee stating that Dr Kelly had been Ms Susan Watts source for a report on the 45 minutes claim which Ms Watts had made on Newsnight. In the course of the questions put to him by the Foreign Affairs Committee Mr Richard Ottoway MP, put the following question to Dr Kelly:
"Q131 Richard Ottaway: In response to my colleague, David Chidgey, he gave you a quote which appeared on Newsnight in a programme introduced by Susan Watts. You have confirmed that you have spoken to Susan Watts. Can I take you through the quote again that was read out. You said you did not recognise it. Could you just concentrate on it. It is talking about the 45 minute point. It said: "The 45 minute point was a statement that was made and it got out of all proportion. They were desperate for information. They were pushing hard for information that could be released. That was the one that popped up and it was seized on and it is unfortunate that it was. That is why there is the argument between the intelligence services and Number 10, because they picked up on it and once they had picked up on it you cannot pull back from it, so many people will say 'Well, we are not sure about that' because the word smithing is actually quite important." There are many people who think that you were the source of that quote. What is your reaction to that suggestion?
Dr Kelly: I find it very difficult. It does not sound like my expression of words. It does not sound like a quote from me.
Q132 Richard Ottaway: You deny that those are your words?
Dr Kelly: Yes."
In the course of questions put to him by members of the Intelligence and Security Committee Mr Alan Howarth MP put the following question to Dr Kelly:
"ALAN HOWARTH: When you went to meet Andrew Gilligan, at the Charing Cross Hotel, did you enter the discussion with an agenda of your own, you've mentioned that you were anxious to learn what you could from him, but did you also go to meet him with a view to conveying any particular points to him.
DR KELLY: No, it was very much with the intention of being in receive mode - to understand his experience he had in Iraq."
On the evening of Wednesday 16th July, after he had given evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee, Dr Kelly and his wife returned to their home in Oxfordshire.
On the morning of Thursday 17th July at 11.18am Dr Kelly sent a number of e-mails replying to friends and colleagues who had sent him messages of support. The following is typical of the e-mails which he sent on that morning:
"Many thanks for your thoughts and prayers. It has been a remarkably tough time. It should all blow over by early next week then I will travel to Baghdad a week Friday."
In addition to Dr Kelly sending e-mails to friends and colleagues, he was sent on the morning of 17th July a number of e-mails from the MoD relating to a number of Parliamentary Questions tabled by MPs. One Parliamentary Question asked which journalists Dr Kelly had met over the past two years and for what purpose each meeting was held and when each meeting took place. Another Parliamentary Question asked what Civil Service and MoD rules and regulations may have been infringed by Dr Kelly talking to Mr Gilligan, and another Parliamentary Question asked what disciplinary measures the MoD would take against Dr Kelly. In the course of the morning and the early afternoon Wing Commander Clark, who was a colleague of Dr Kelly in the MoD, had some telephone conversations with him about the Parliamentary Question relating to his contact with journalists.
After lunch Mrs Kelly went to lie down. Before she did so she asked Dr Kelly what he was going to do and he replied that he would probably go for a walk. After Mrs Kelly had gone to lie down Dr Kelly then came to ask her if she was all right and Mrs Kelly replied that she would be fine. Dr Kelly then left for a walk between about 3 and 3.20pm.
Dr Kelly did not return from his walk and Mrs Kelly was joined by two of her daughters during the course of the evening (her third daughter being in Scotland), and they became increasingly worried about him. Mrs Kelly's two daughters went out separately in their cars to look for their father on the roads and lanes along which he might have been walking, but when they found no trace of him they rang the police about 12.20am on Friday 18th July.
The Thames Valley Police began an immediate search for Dr Kelly and the search operation was carried out with great efficiency. Sometime about 9am two volunteer searchers found the body of Dr Kelly in a wood at Harrowdown Hill a few miles away from his home.
I set out in detail in the report the very careful police and forensic investigations which were made into the death of Dr Kelly and at the end of that account I state:
"In the light of the evidence which I have heard I am satisfied that Dr Kelly took his own life in the wood at Harrowdown Hill at a time between 4.15pm on 17 July and 1.15am on 18 July 2003 and that the principal cause of death was bleeding from incised wounds to the left wrist which Dr Kelly inflicted on himself with the knife found beside his body. It is probable that the ingestion of an excess amount of Coproxamol tablets coupled with apparently clinically silent coronary artery disease would both have played a part in bringing about death more certainly and more rapidly than would have otherwise been the case. Accordingly the causes of death are:
1b Incised wounds to the left wrist
2 Coproxamol ingestion and coronary artery atherosclerosis
I am satisfied that no other person was involved in the death of Dr Kelly for the following reasons:
(1) A very careful and lengthy examination of the area where his body was found by police officers and by a forensic biologist found no traces whatever of a struggle or of any involvement by a third party or third parties and a very careful and detailed post mortem examination by Dr Hunt, together with the examination of specimens from the body by a forensic toxicologist, Dr Allan, found no traces or indications whatever of violence or force inflicted on Dr Kelly by a third party or third parties either at the place where his body was found or elsewhere.
(2) The wounds to his wrist were inflicted by a knife which came from Dr Kelly's desk in his study in his home, and which had belonged to him from boyhood.
(3) It is highly unlikely that a third party or third parties could have forced Dr Kelly to swallow a large number of Coproxamol tablets.
These conclusions are strongly supported by the evidence of Professor Hawton [the Professor of Psychiatry at Oxford University], Dr Hunt [the Home Office accredited forensic pathologist] and Assistant Chief Constable Page [of Thames Valley Police].
I am further satisfied from the evidence of Professor Hawton that Dr Kelly was not suffering from any significant mental illness at the time he took his own life."
Having set out the facts I state in paragraph 160:
"In my opinion my terms of reference require me to consider a number of issues which arise from the evidence which I have summarised in the preceding paragraphs of this report. They are issues which counsel addressed in their examination and cross-examination of witnesses and in their statements at the conclusion of the evidence. The issues may be grouped under five main headings:
I Issues relating to the preparation of the dossier of 24 September 2002.
II Issues relating to Dr Kelly's meeting with Mr Gilligan in the Charing Cross Hotel on 22 May 2003.
III Issues relating to the BBC arising from Mr Gilligan's broadcasts on the BBC Today programme on 29 May 2003.
IV Issues relating to the decisions and actions taken by the Government after Dr Kelly informed his line manager in the MoD that he had spoken to Mr Gilligan on the 22 May 2003.
V Issues relating to the factors which may have led Dr Kelly to take his own life."
In respect of the first group of issues relating to the preparation of the dossier of 24th September 2002 I state that the issues are the following:
(a) How was the dossier of 24 September 2002 prepared and who was responsible for drafting it?
(b) What part (if any) did the Prime Minister or Mr Alastair Campbell or other officials in 10 Downing Street play in the preparation of the dossier?
(c) Were the Prime Minister or Mr Alastair Campbell or other officials in 10 Downing Street responsible for intelligence being set out in the dossier which they knew or suspected was incorrect or misleading?
(d) Was it improper for Mr Scarlett, the Chairman of the JIC, and the other members of the JIC to take into account suggestions as to the wording of the dossier from 10 Downing Street?
(e) Were Mr Scarlett and the other members of the JIC influenced by pressure from 10 Downing Street to make statements in the dossier that were stronger than were warranted by the intelligence available to them?
I then consider those issues from paragraphs 163 to paragraph 220. After considering these issues, I refer to the meaning of the term "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and I say in paragraph 221:
"Mr Gilligan's broadcasts on 29 May related to the claim in the dossier that chemical and biological weapons were deployable within 45 minutes and did not refer to the distinction between battlefield weapons, such as artillery and rockets, and strategic weapons, such as long range missiles. A consideration of this distinction does not fall within my terms of reference, but the distinction was noted and commented on by the ISC in paragraphs 111 and 112 of its report presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister in September 2003..."
"In the course of the Inquiry some evidence was given in relation to the distinction between battlefield weapons and strategic weapons and I set this evidence out."
This evidence is then set out in paragraphs 222 to 227.
I then state my conclusions on the first group of issues relating to the preparation of the dossier as follows:
"(1) The dossier was prepared and drafted by a small team of the assessment staff of the JIC. Mr Scarlett, the Chairman of the JIC, had the overall responsibility for the drafting of the dossier. The dossier, which included the 45 minutes claim, was issued by the Government on 24 September 2002 with the full approval of the JIC. [In addition to Mr Scarlett, the Chairman, the other members of that Committee were the heads of the three intelligence agencies, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), the Security Service and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator in the Cabinet Office, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence, together with senior officials from the major policy departments of the Government.]
(2) The 45 minutes claim was based on a report which was received by the SIS from a source which that Service regarded as reliable. Therefore, whether or not at some time in the future the report on which the 45 minutes claim was based is shown to be unreliable, the allegation reported by Mr Gilligan on 29 May 2003 that the Government probably knew that the 45 minutes claim was wrong before the Government decided to put it in the dossier was an allegation which was unfounded.
(3) The allegation was also unfounded that the reason why the 45 minutes claim was not in the original draft of the dossier was because it only came from one source and the intelligence agencies did not really believe it was necessarily true. The reason why the 45 minutes claim did not appear in draft assessments or draft dossiers until 5 September 2002 was because the intelligence report on which it was based was not received by the SIS until 29 August 2002 and the JIC assessment staff did not have time to insert it in a draft until the draft of the assessment of 5 September 2002.
(4) The true position in relation to the attitude of "the Intelligence Services" to the 45 minutes claim being inserted in the dossier was that the concerns expressed by Dr Jones were considered by higher echelons in the Intelligence Services and were not acted upon, and the JIC, the most senior body in the Intelligence Services charged with the assessment of intelligence, approved the wording in the dossier. Moreover, the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons section of the Defence Intelligence Staff, headed by Dr Jones, did not argue that the intelligence relating to the 45 minutes claim should not have been included in the dossier but they did suggest that the wording in which the claim was stated in the dossier was too strong and that instead of the dossier stating "we judge" that "Iraq has:- military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, including against its own Shia population. Some of these weapons are deployable within 45 minutes of an order to use them", the wording should state "intelligence suggests".
(5) Mr Campbell made it clear to Mr Scarlett on behalf of the Prime Minister that 10 Downing Street wanted the dossier to be worded to make as strong a case as possible in relation to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's WMD, and 10 Downing Street made written suggestions to Mr Scarlett as to changes in the wording of the draft dossier which would strengthen it. But Mr Campbell recognised, and told Mr Scarlett that 10 Downing Street recognised, that nothing should be stated in the dossier with which the intelligence community were not entirely happy.
(6) Mr Scarlett accepted some of the drafting suggestions made to him by 10 Downing Street but he only accepted those suggestions which were consistent with the intelligence known to the JIC and he rejected those suggestions which were not consistent with such intelligence and the dossier issued by the Government was approved by the JIC.
(7) As the dossier was one to be presented to, and read by, Parliament and the public, and was not an intelligence assessment to be considered only by the Government, I do not consider that it was improper for Mr Scarlett and the JIC to take into account suggestions as to drafting made by 10 Downing Street and to adopt those suggestions if they were consistent with the intelligence available to the JIC. However I consider that the possibility cannot be completely ruled out that the desire of the Prime Minister to have a dossier which, whilst consistent with the available intelligence, was as strong as possible in relation to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's WMD, may have subconsciously influenced Mr Scarlett and the other members of the JIC to make the wording of the dossier somewhat stronger than it would have been if it had been contained in a normal JIC assessment. Although this possibility cannot be completely ruled out, I am satisfied that Mr Scarlett, the other members of the JIC, and the members of the assessment staff engaged in the drafting of the dossier were concerned to ensure that the contents of the dossier were consistent with the intelligence available to the JIC.
(8) The term "sexed-up" is a slang expression, the meaning of which lacks clarity in the context of the discussion of the dossier. It is capable of two different meanings. It could mean that the dossier was embellished with items of intelligence known or believed to be false or unreliable to make the case against Saddam Hussein stronger, or it could mean that whilst the intelligence contained in the dossier was believed to be reliable, the dossier was drafted in such a way as to make the case against Saddam Hussein as strong as the intelligence contained in it permitted. If the term is used in this latter sense, then because of the drafting suggestions made by 10 Downing Street for the purpose of making a strong case against Saddam Hussein, it could be said that the Government "sexed-up" the dossier. However in the context of the broadcasts in which the "sexing-up" allegation was reported, and having regard to the other allegations reported in those broadcasts I consider that the allegation was unfounded as it would have been understood by those who heard the broadcasts to mean that the dossier had been embellished with intelligence known or believed to be false or unreliable, which was not the case."
In respect of the second set of issues relating to Dr Kelly's meeting with Mr Gilligan in the Charing Cross Hotel on 22nd May 2003 I state that there are three issues:
"(a) What did Dr Kelly say to Mr Gilligan in the course of the meeting?
(b) At the time of his meeting with Mr Gilligan and discussing the dossier with him was Dr Kelly having a meeting which was unauthorised and in breach of the Civil Service rules of procedure which applied to him?
(c) At the time of the meeting or subsequent to it did Dr Kelly realise that the meeting was unauthorised and in breach of the Civil Service rules of procedure which applied to him?"
I discuss those issues from paragraphs 230 to 258.
I summarise my conclusions on those issues in paragraph 259 and I state:
"(1) In the light of the uncertainties arising from Mr Gilligan's evidence and the existence of two versions of his notes made on his personal organiser of his discussion with Dr Kelly on 22 May it is not possible to reach a definite conclusion as to what Dr Kelly said to Mr Gilligan. It may be that Dr Kelly said to Mr Gilligan that Mr Campbell was responsible for transforming the dossier, and it may be that when Mr Gilligan suggested to Dr Kelly that the dossier was transformed to make it "sexier", Dr Kelly agreed with this suggestion. However I am satisfied that Dr Kelly did not say to Mr Gilligan that the Government probably knew or suspected that the 45 minutes claim was wrong before that claim was inserted in the dossier. I am further satisfied that Dr Kelly did not say to Mr Gilligan that the reason why the 45 minutes claim was not included in the original draft of the dossier was because it only came from one source and the intelligence agencies did not really believe it was necessarily true. In the course of his evidence which I have set out in paragraphs 244, 245 and 246, Mr Gilligan accepted that he had made errors in his broadcasts in the Today programme on 29 May 2003. The reality was that the 45 minutes claim was based on an intelligence report which the Secret Intelligence Service believed to be reliable and the 45 minutes claim was inserted in the dossier with the approval of the Joint Intelligence Committee, the most senior body in the United Kingdom responsible for the assessment of intelligence. In addition the reason why the 45 minutes claim was not inserted in the first draft of the dossier was because the intelligence on which it was based was not received by the SIS in London until 29 August 2002. Therefore the allegations reported by Mr Gilligan that the Government probably knew that the 45 minutes claim was wrong or questionable and that it was not inserted in the first draft of the dossier because it only came from one source and the intelligence agencies did not really believe it was necessarily true, were unfounded.
(2) Dr Kelly's meeting with Mr Gilligan was unauthorised and in meeting Mr Gilligan and discussing intelligence matters with him, Dr Kelly was acting in breach of the Civil Service code of procedure which applied to him.
(3) It may be that when he met Mr Gilligan, Dr Kelly said more to him than he had intended to say and that at the time of the meeting he did not realise the gravity of the situation which he was helping to create by discussing intelligence matters with Mr Gilligan. But whatever Dr Kelly thought at the time of his meeting with Mr Gilligan, it is clear that after Mr Gilligan's broadcasts on 29 May Dr Kelly must have come to realise the gravity of the situation for which he was partly responsible by commenting on intelligence matters to him and he accepted that the meeting was unauthorised, as he acknowledged in a telephone conversation with his friend and colleague Ms Olivia Bosch after his meeting with Mr Gilligan."
In respect of the issues relating to the BBC arising from Mr Gilligan's broadcasts I state that the issues are the following:
"(1) Was there a failure by the BBC to exercise proper editorial control over Mr Gilligan's broadcasts on the Today programme on 29 May?
(2) Was the BBC management at fault in failing to investigate properly and adequately the Government's complaints that the report was false that the Government probably knew that the 45 minutes claim was wrong even before it decided to put it in the dossier?
(3) Was there a failure by BBC management to inform the Governors of the BBC of the extent of editorial concerns about Mr Gilligan's broadcasts in relation to the 45 minutes claim?
(4) Whilst the Governors were under a duty to protect the independence of the BBC from Government interference, were the Governors at fault in failing to investigate properly and adequately the Government's complaints about the report on the Today programme in relation to the 45 minutes claim, and were the Governors too ready to accept the opinion of BBC management that the broadcasts were proper ones for the Today programme to make."
I consider these issues from paragraph 262 to paragraph 290. In the course of considering these issues I state in paragraph 274:
"Before considering the issues relating to the BBC set out in paragraph 260 it is also appropriate to comment again on the distinction (referred to in paragraph 9) between an allegation that the Government probably knew at the time of publication that intelligence contained in the dossier was wrong or questionable and an allegation that intelligence contained in the dossier, which the Government believed to be reliable, was in reality unreliable. Although to some extent the latter allegation is implicit in the former allegation and future discoveries or the absence of discoveries in Iraq may show the latter allegation to be correct (an issue which does not come within my terms of reference and on which I express no opinion), the former allegation is a much graver one and is an attack on the integrity of the Government itself, and Mr Gilligan's broadcasts on 29 May reported this express allegation."
"Although the question whether intelligence approved and provided to the Government by the JIC was reliable is a very important question, it is not one which involves the integrity of the Government: there is a great difference between broadcasting an allegation that intelligence provided to the Government was unreliable and broadcasting an allegation that the Government knew that intelligence set out in the dossier was wrong or questionable before it published it in the dossier, and it was the broadcasting of the latter allegation by the BBC which drew Dr Kelly into the controversy about Mr Gilligan's broadcasts."
I summarise my conclusions on these issues in paragraph 291 of the report as follows:
"(1) The allegations reported by Mr Gilligan on the BBC Today programme on 29 May 2003 that the Government probably knew that the 45 minutes claim was wrong or questionable before the dossier was published and that it was not inserted in the first draft of the dossier because it only came from one source and the intelligence agencies did not really believe it was necessarily true, were unfounded.
(2) The communication by the media of information (including information obtained by investigative reporters) on matters of public interest and importance is a vital part of life in a democratic society. However the right to communicate such information is subject to the qualification (which itself exists for the benefit of a democratic society) that false accusations of fact impugning the integrity of others, including politicians, should not be made by the media. Where a reporter is intending to broadcast or publish information impugning the integrity of others the management of his broadcasting company or newspaper should ensure that a system is in place whereby his editor or editors give careful consideration to the wording of the report and to whether it is right in all the circumstances to broadcast or publish it. The allegations that Mr Gilligan was intending to broadcast in respect of the Government and the preparation of the dossier were very grave allegations in relation to a subject of great importance and I consider that the editorial system which the BBC permitted was defective in that Mr Gilligan was allowed to broadcast his report at 6.07am without editors having seen a script of what he was going to say and having considered whether it should be approved.
(3) The BBC management was at fault in the following respects in failing to investigate properly the Government's complaints that the report in the 6.07am broadcast was false that the Government probably knew that the 45 minutes claim was wrong even before it decided to put it in the dossier. The BBC management failed, before Mr Sambrook wrote his letter of 27 June 2003 to Mr Campbell, to make an examination of Mr Gilligan's notes on his personal organiser of his meeting with Dr Kelly to see if they supported the allegations which he had reported in his broadcast at 6.07am. When the BBC management did look at Mr Gilligan's notes after 27 June it failed to appreciate that the notes did not fully support the most serious of the allegations which he had reported in the 6.07am broadcast, and it therefore failed to draw the attention of the Governors to the lack of support in the notes for the most serious of the allegations.
(4) The e-mail sent by Mr Kevin Marsh, the editor of the Today programme on 27 June 2003 to Mr Stephen Mitchell, the Head of Radio News, which was critical of Mr Gilligan's method of reporting, and which referred to Mr Gilligan's "loose use of language and lack of judgment in some of his phraseology" and referred also to "the loose and in some ways distant relationship he's been allowed to have with Today," was clearly relevant to the complaints which the Government were making about his broadcasts on 29 May, and the lack of knowledge on the part of Mr Sambrook, the Director of News, and the Governors of this critical e-mail shows a defect in the operation of the BBC's management system for the consideration of complaints in respect of broadcasts.
(5) The Governors were right to take the view that it was their duty to protect the independence of the BBC against attacks by the Government and Mr Campbell's complaints were being expressed in exceptionally strong terms which raised very considerably the temperature of the dispute between the Government and the BBC. However Mr Campbell's allegation that large parts of the BBC had an anti-war agenda in his evidence to the FAC was only one part of his evidence. The Government's concern about Mr Gilligan's broadcasts on 29 May was a separate issue about which specific complaints had been made by the Government. Therefore the Governors should have recognised more fully than they did that their duty to protect the independence of the BBC was not incompatible with giving proper consideration to whether there was validity in the Government's complaints, no matter how strongly worded by Mr Campbell, that the allegations against its integrity reported in Mr Gilligan's broadcasts were unfounded and the Governors failed to give this issue proper consideration. The view taken by the Governors, as explained in evidence by Mr Gavyn Davies, the Chairman of the Board of Governors, that they had to rely on the BBC management to investigate and assess whether Mr Gilligan's source was reliable and credible and that it was not for them as Governors to investigate whether the allegations reported were themselves accurate, is a view which is understandable. However this was not the correct view for the Governors to take because the Government had stated to the BBC in clear terms, as had Mr Campbell to the FAC, that the report that the Government probably knew that the 45 minutes claim was wrong was untruthful, and this denial was made with the authority of the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the JIC. In those circumstances, rather than relying on the assurances of BBC management, I consider that the Governors themselves should have made more detailed investigations into the extent to which Mr Gilligan's notes supported his report. If they had done this they would probably have discovered that the notes did not support the allegation that the Government knew that the 45 minutes claim was probably wrong, and the Governors should then have questioned whether it was right for the BBC to maintain that it was in the public interest to broadcast the allegation in Mr Gilligan's report and to rely on Mr Gilligan's assurances that his report was accurate. Therefore in the very unusual and specific circumstances relating to Mr Gilligan's broadcasts, the Governors are to be criticised for themselves failing to make more detailed investigations into whether this allegation reported by Mr Gilligan was properly supported by his notes and for failing to give proper and adequate consideration to whether the BBC should publicly acknowledge that this very grave allegation should not have been broadcast."
I then turn to consider the issues which arise relating to the decisions and actions taken by the Government after Dr Kelly informed his line manager in the MoD that he had spoken to Mr Gilligan on the 22nd May 2003.
In paragraph 292 I state that these issues are the following:
First, did the Government behave in a way which was dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous in revealing Dr Kelly's name to the media, thereby subjecting him to the pressure and stress which were bound to arise from being placed in the media spotlight?
Secondly, if the Government did not behave in a way which was dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous in revealing Dr Kelly's name to the media, did the Government fail to take proper steps to help and protect Dr Kelly in the difficult position in which he found himself?
In relation to the first issue I say this in paragraph 293 of the report:
"The allegation has been made by a number of commentators, with varying degrees of force, that the Government devised and implemented an underhand strategy to name Dr Kelly whereby his name was deliberately but covertly leaked to the press in order to strengthen the Government's case in its battle with the BBC. In his cross-examination of the Secretary of State for Defence, Mr Gompertz QC, on behalf of Dr Kelly's family, put the following suggestion to him, which he denied:
[22 September, page 25, line 4]
"What I suggest to you is that there was a deliberate Government strategy to leak Dr Kelly's name into the public arena without appearing to do so, by a combination of the press statement, the question and answer material, the Prime Minister's official spokesman press briefing and other leaks which appear to have taken place to the press. That is what I suggest."
Mr Gompertz in his closing statement said that one of the principal aims of Dr Kelly's family in the Inquiry was that "the duplicity of the Government in their handling of Dr Kelly should be exposed". "
I go on to say that the issue whether the Government acted towards Dr Kelly in a manner which was dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous was one in respect of which Government witnesses were questioned at length in the course of the Inquiry, and therefore in the report I have set out in chronological sequence at some length parts of the evidence of the Government witnesses so that those who read the report can read their evidence and understand the conclusions to which I have come. In paragraphs 295 to paragraph 394 I set out the evidence of the Government witnesses, including the evidence of the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Defence, Mr Geoffrey Hoon MP, and the Permanent Under Secretary of State at the MoD, Sir Kevin Tebbit.
In paragraphs 395 to 426 I consider the issue whether the Government behaved in a way which was dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous in revealing Dr Kelly's name to the media. In paragraph 396 I say:
"If the bare details of the MoD's statement dated 8 July 2003, the changing drafts of the Q and A material prepared in the MoD, and the lobby briefings by the Prime Minister's official spokesman on 9 July are looked at in isolation from the surrounding circumstances it would be possible to infer, as some commentators have done, that there was an underhand strategy by the Government to leak Dr Kelly's name to the press in a covert way. For a time at the start of the Inquiry it appeared to me that a case of some strength could be made that there was such a strategy, and some of the questions I put to Government witnesses (in addition to questions put by counsel to the Inquiry) were directed to this issue. In particular I was concerned to find out why it would not have been possible for the Government "to batten down the hatches" and ride out the controversy fuelled by Mr Gilligan's broadcasts without revealing that a civil servant had come forward to admit that he had spoken to Mr Gilligan about WMD or, alternatively, to issue a statement that a civil servant had come forward but to decline to identify that civil servant to the press. However as the Inquiry proceeded and I heard more evidence about the surrounding circumstances and the considerations which influenced those in Government I came to the conclusion that the reality was that there was no such underhand strategy."
In paragraph 397 I set out the surrounding circumstances and considerations which led me to this conclusion. In paragraph 397, subparagraph 2, I say:
"I am satisfied from the evidence of the Prime Minister, Mr Geoffrey Hoon, the Secretary of State for Defence, Sir David Omand, Sir David Manning, Sir Kevin Tebbit and a number of other witnesses that throughout the period from 4 July to 8 July the Government was becoming increasingly concerned that if it did not issue a statement that a civil servant had come forward to say that he had had a meeting with Mr Gilligan, it would be charged with a cover up and with concealing this fact from the FAC which on 7 July published its report into its inquiry into the decision to go to war in Iraq, Mr Gilligan's broadcasts on the Today programme being an important part of the context within which the FAC had decided to embark on this inquiry. I am further satisfied that this was the principal reason why it was decided to issue the MoD statement on Tuesday 8 July."
I then set out parts of the evidence of Mr Donald Anderson MP and Mr Andrew Mackinlay MP, the Chairman and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. In his evidence Mr Anderson said that after the Committee learned of the MoD statement of 8th July that a civil servant had come forward to say that he had met Mr Gilligan, there was a meeting of the Committee to decide whether it should reopen its inquiry and call Dr Kelly to give evidence. Mr Anderson described the view of the majority of the Committee as follows:
"Other colleagues said: no, this really needs to be clarified, because fundamental to our report had been this question whether the politicians had overborne the intelligence community in respect of the information, and that we had come to certain views, and those views might well be fundamentally overturned as a result of meeting the person who may have been the source, and therefore it would look odd if we did not seek to clarify the position."
In his evidence Mr Mackinlay said:
"[the Government] were obliged to disclose [that the civil servant had come forward] to the Committee but they did not. They became aware of this I think on 30th June. They in my view deliberately stalled, hoping our report would come out.... The whole thing, in my view, was designed to hope that they could avoid him coming before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee... There was no way on God's earth in my view that the press would have allowed, once Dr Kelly became known, for him not to have been scrutinised in public, and I have to be candid with you: I for one would not have acquiesced in that by my silence. I think it is our duty to have Dr Kelly before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee."
I then put the following question to Mr Mackinlay:
"Just on that direct question: is it your view that once Dr Kelly had come forward to the Ministry of Defence, that they were under a duty to inform your Committee and also were under a duty to ask him or to require him to appear before your Committee."
Mr Mackinlay replied:
"They are under a duty to inform us immediately and then give us the opportunity of deciding if we wanted to call him, which we would have done."
When Dr Kelly appeared before the Foreign Affairs Committee Sir John Stanley MP asked him:
"Q171 Sir John Stanley: One final point on the timetable. What was the date on which you went to your line managers expressing the concern that Mr Gilligan might have drawn on his conversation with you?
Dr Kelly: I wrote a letter on Monday 30 June.
Q172 Sir John Stanley: How do you explain the reasons for the delay between the letter you wrote on 30 June and the release of the Ministry of Defence statement throwing you to the wolves?
Dr Kelly: I cannot explain the bureaucracy that went on in between. I think it went through the line management system and went through remarkably quickly.
Q173 Sir John Stanley: Did you get any impression that the statement was delayed by the Ministry of Defence in order to ensure that it went out only after our report was published?
Dr Kelly: I cannot answer that question. I really do not know."
In paragraphs 398 and 399 I say:
"Therefore I consider it to be clear that if the Government had not issued a statement that a civil servant had come forward and information of this leaked out later (as I consider it is very probable it would have done - see paragraph 399 below) the Government would have been faced with a serious charge of a cover up and of attempting to conceal an important piece of information from the FAC. Accordingly I consider that the Government acted reasonably in issuing the press statement on 8 July that a civil servant had come forward to volunteer that he had met Mr Gilligan on 22 May and that the issuing of the statement was not part of a dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous strategy to leak Dr Kelly's name covertly in order to assist the Government in its battle with the BBC.
I am satisfied that once Dr Kelly had informed the MoD that he had spoken to Mr Gilligan, the Government's view that Dr Kelly's name as a source for Mr Gilligan's reports was bound to become public whether the Government issued a statement or not was well founded. The question who was Mr Gilligan's source was one of intense interest to the press which the press would pursue with the greatest vigour and it is unrealistic to think that the name could have been kept secret indefinitely by the MoD."
In paragraphs 402 to 406 I consider the evidence of the Prime Minister and Sir Kevin Tebbit. I state that their evidence was not inconsistent. In paragraph 403 I say:
"When Sir Kevin Tebbit first gave evidence on 20 August he said that a decision was made at a meeting in 10 Downing Street on 8 July that a statement should be made that an unnamed civil servant had come forward and Sir Kevin made it clear that that decision was one in which the Prime Minister was directly involved. He said (page 86, line 17) "it was a collective view of Sir David Omand, John Scarlett, the Prime Minister" (this part of his evidence is set out in full in paragraph 315). When he gave evidence on 28 August the Prime Minister also made it clear that the decision to issue a statement that a civil servant had come forward but not to name him, was taken at a meeting in 10 Downing Street on 8 July which he chaired. In his evidence the Prime Minister referred (page 74, line 12) to "the decisions we were taking at that meeting" and "in the end it was decided that the MoD should put out a press statement; that they should give the fact openly that someone had come forward but not give the name." When Sir Kevin Tebbit gave evidence for the second time on 13 October he confirmed what he and the Prime Minister had previously said - that the decision to issue the statement was taken by the Prime Minister in a meeting at 10 Downing Street on 8 July. There was nothing new or dramatic in that evidence; he was stating what he and the Prime Minister had previously said in evidence."
In paragraphs 406 to 412 I say:
"... The Question and Answer material was ancillary material prepared in the MoD and there is nothing in the evidence to suggest that there was any consideration by the Prime Minister of the Question and Answer material in the meeting in 10 Downing Street, and I do not consider that Sir Kevin Tebbit's evidence conflicts with the evidence of the Prime Minister when the latter said on 28 August [at page 77, line 18] (see paragraph 339) that he was not aware of the existence of the Question and Answer material. In his evidence Mr Powell referred to Question and Answer material which he drafted on 8 July at 4.35pm (see paragraph 299) but in his draft he said that most of the answers were for the MoD and this Question and Answer material made no reference to the name of the civil servant."
"The issuing of the statement authorised by the Prime Minister did give rise to the questions by the press as to the identity of the civil servant and these questions led on to the MoD confirming Dr Kelly's name, but I do not consider that there was any plan or strategy by the Prime Minister and the officials in 10 Downing Street to bring this about. Such a plan or strategy would appear to have involved the following line of thought by the Prime Minister and his officials:
(1) It is in the interests of the Government to name Dr Kelly as Mr Gilligan's source because this will help the Government to show that Dr Kelly did not have the knowledge about the dossier to justify Mr Gilligan's allegations.
(2) The Government is not prepared to name Dr Kelly directly because if this is done it will bring down criticism on the Government.
(3) Therefore, instead of naming Dr Kelly directly, the Government will issue a statement that an unnamed civil servant has come forward, and the Government will expect or hope that a journalist will suggest that the unnamed civil servant is Dr Kelly.
(4) This will enable the Government to confirm that Dr Kelly was the civil servant.
(5) In this way the Government will be able to identify Dr Kelly as Mr Gilligan's source without incurring the criticism which would arise from naming Dr Kelly directly."
"Having considered a large volume of evidence I consider that there was no such dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous strategy devised by the Prime Minister and his officials. The surrounding circumstances confirm, in my opinion, that the purpose of the Prime Minister and his officials in deciding to issue the statement that an unnamed civil servant had come forward was to protect the Government from a charge of a cover-up and of withholding important and relevant information from the FAC."
"Therefore I consider that the Question and Answer material used by the MoD press office on 9 July was not an underhand way of covertly making Dr Kelly's name public. I think that the decision not to name Dr Kelly in the MoD statement was influenced by the consideration that the officials concerned with the matter were not absolutely certain that he was Mr Gilligan's source and I am satisfied that there was no deliberate plan or strategy to name him by the Question and Answer procedure rather than by naming him directly in the statement. Whatever may be the position in other cases, I think that in this case it was recognised by the MoD that because Dr Kelly's name was bound to come out and because the issue was one of great importance, it was better to be frank with the press and confirm the correct name if it was given. I think that the MoD was also concerned that the press should not publicise the name or names of other civil servants as being the source and that this was a consideration which influenced the decision to confirm the correct name if it was given."
"The first Question and Answer brief prepared on 4 July stated that the name of the civil servant would be not be given whereas the final Question and Answer brief stated that if the correct name was given it would be confirmed. But I do not think that this shows a change in approach by the MoD which evidences a deliberate strategy to name Dr Kelly. The reason for the first Question and Answer brief was that it was prepared to answer press inquiries before the Government had decided to issue a statement that a civil servant had come forward and in case the press learned of this through a leak, whereas the final Question and Answer brief was prepared to deal with the changed position after the decision had been taken to issue such a statement."
"Some commentators have referred to answers by the Prime Minister to questions from members of the press travelling with him on an aeroplane to Hong Kong on 22 July and I have read the transcript of that press briefing. As I have stated, I am satisfied that there was not a dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous strategy on the part of the Prime Minister and officials to leak Dr Kelly's name covertly, and I am further satisfied that the decision which was taken by the Prime Minister and his officials in 10 Downing Street on 8 July was confined to issuing a statement that an unnamed civil servant had come forward and that the Question and Answer material was prepared and approved in the MoD and not in 10 Downing Street. The series of events and considerations which led to the decision in 10 Downing Street on 8 July to issue a statement was a complex one for the reasons which I have previously set out and I consider that the answers given by the Prime Minister to members of the press in the aeroplane cast no light on the issues about which I have heard a large volume of evidence."
"The lobby briefings given by the Prime Minister's official spokesman, Mr Tom Kelly, on the morning and afternoon of Wednesday 9 July helped to identify Dr Kelly as Mr Gilligan's source, but I consider that Mr Kelly's intention was not to leak Dr Kelly's name covertly as Mr Gilligan's source but that his intention was to give answers which supported the MoD statement against the statement issued by the BBC on the evening of 8 July and helped to show that Mr Gilligan's source was not "one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up that dossier" as stated by Mr Gilligan in his broadcast at 6.07am on 29 May and was not "a source within the intelligence service" as stated by Mr John Humphrys when he interviewed Mr Adam Ingram MP, the Armed Forces Minister, later in the Today Programme, and was therefore not in the position to make the claims that Mr Gilligan reported him as having made. Therefore I consider that Mr Kelly's briefings were not part of a strategy to leak Dr Kelly's name covertly. It is regrettable that Dr Kelly was upset by these briefings and felt that they belittled his position in the Government service, but I consider that the briefings were for the purpose described above and were not for the purpose of belittling or demeaning him."
In paragraphs 419 to 425 I consider the evidence of the Secretary of State for Defence, Mr Geoffrey Hoon MP. Mr Hoon gave evidence to the Inquiry on the 27th August and on the 26th September. When Mr Hoon was cross-examined by counsel by Dr Kelly's family on 26th September there was the suggestion implicit in the cross-examination that he had been untruthful in his earlier evidence in relation to the Question and Answer material. Having considered Mr Hoon's evidence and the evidence of other witnesses I conclude that:
"Mr Hoon was not untruthful when he said in evidence on 27 August that he had not seen the Question and Answer material. But it is clear that he was told on 9 July that the press office of the MoD was going to take the approach that if Dr Kelly's name was put to it the name would be confirmed, and he did not dissent from this approach being taken. He only stated at a late stage in his evidence on 27August that he was aware that this approach was going to be taken, but having regard to the fact that he had stated in paragraph 26 of the written statement which he provided to the Inquiry before he gave evidence on 27 August (and which he read out in evidence on 22 September) that he had been told that this approach was going to be taken, I do not consider that he was seeking in his evidence to conceal his knowledge of this approach."
In paragraphs 427, 428 and 429 I set out my conclusion, for the reasons which I have already given that there was no dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous strategy by the Government covertly to leak Dr Kelly's name to the media.
Having concluded that the Government did not behave in a dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous way in revealing Dr Kelly's name to the media I then consider the second issue, whether the Government failed to take proper steps to help and protect Dr Kelly in the difficult position in which he found himself. In paragraph 430 I state that the evidence has satisfied me that officials in the MoD did give some consideration to Dr Kelly's welfare and did take some steps to help him, and I set out the steps which were taken by a number of officials.
I then say in paragraph 432:
"However, notwithstanding that steps were taken by a number of officials to give support to Dr Kelly and despite the fact that Dr Kelly was told expressly by Mrs Wilson, the chief press officer at the MoD, in a telephone conversation on the evening of 8 July, that he needed to think about staying with friends, which would have conveyed to him that he could be the subject of intense press interest, and although it is clear from remarks which he made to Mrs Kelly and to Ms Olivia Bosch that Dr Kelly realised that his name would come out, I consider (without engaging in hindsight) that the MoD was at fault in the procedure which it adopted in relation to Dr Kelly after the decision had been taken to release the statement which was issued about 5.30pm on Tuesday 8 July. The principal fault lay in the failure of the MoD to inform Dr Kelly that the press office was going to confirm his name if a journalist suggested it."
I state my conclusion on the issue whether the Government failed to take proper steps to help and protect Dr Kelly in the difficult position in which he found himself in paragraph 439 where I say:
"I consider that once the decision had been taken on 8 July to issue the statement, the MoD was at fault and is to be criticised for not informing Dr Kelly that its press office would confirm his name if a journalist suggested it. Although I am satisfied that Dr Kelly realised, once the MoD statement had been issued on Tuesday 8 July, that his name would come out, it must have been a great shock and very upsetting for him to have been told in a brief telephone call from his line manager, Dr Wells, on the evening of 9 July that the press office of his own department had confirmed his name to the press and must have given rise to a feeling that he had been badly let down by his employer. I further consider that the MoD was at fault in not having set up a procedure whereby Dr Kelly would be informed immediately his name had been confirmed to the press and in permitting a period of one and a half hours to elapse between the confirmation of his name to the press and information being given to Dr Kelly that his name had been confirmed to the press. However these criticisms are subject to the mitigating circumstances that (1) Dr Kelly's exposure to press attention and intrusion, whilst obviously very stressful, was only one of the factors placing him under great stress; (2) individual officials in the MoD did try to help and support him in the ways which I have [previously] described and (3) because of his intensely private nature, Dr Kelly was not an easy man to help or to whom to give advice."
The fifth set of issues relate to the factors which may have led Dr Kelly to take his own life. I consider these factors in paragraphs 440 to 449.
Professor Keith Hawton was requested by the Inquiry to give evidence in relation to the death of Dr Kelly. Professor Hawton is an eminent expert on the subject of suicide and is the Professor of Psychiatry in Oxford University and the Director of the Centre for Suicide Research in the University Department of Psychiatry in Oxford.
Paragraph 443 of the report states:
"Professor Hawton was then asked about the e-mails which Dr Kelly received on the morning of Thursday 17 July which set out Parliamentary Questions including the Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what (a) Civil Service and (b) MoD rules and regulations may have been infringed by Dr David Kelly in talking to BBC Radio 4 Defence Correspondent Andrew Gilligan.
and the Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what disciplinary measures his department will take against Dr David Kelly.
Professor Hawton was asked:
Do you think any of those might have been relevant?
A. Well, I think it is likely that he would have begun to perceive that the problem was escalating, the difficulties for him were escalating and that the prospects for an early resolution of his difficulties were diminishing.
Q. So when do you believe that Dr Kelly is likely to have formed the intention [to end his life]?
A. Well, it is my opinion that it is likely that he formed the opinion either during the morning, probably later in the morning or during the early part of the afternoon, before he went on that walk.
I state in paragraphs 444, 445 and 446:
"I think it probable that one of the concerns which must have been weighing heavily on Dr Kelly's mind during the last few days of his life was the knowledge that there appeared to be in existence, known to members of the FAC, a full note of his conversation with Ms Susan Watts on 30 May. This concern would have included the knowledge that he had denied (question 132 in his evidence to the FAC) that the words which he had spoken to Ms Watts in his telephone conversation with her on 30 May and which she had quoted on the Newsnight programme were his words. Dr Kelly had told the MoD at the meeting on 14 July that he had not spoken to Ms Watts about the September dossier and he must also have been worried that it would emerge and would become known to the MoD that he had had a lengthy discussion with Ms Watts about intelligence matters in relation to the 45 minutes claim and that he had had a similar but shorter conversation with Mr Gavin Hewitt."
"In their evidence both Ms Rachel Kelly and Dr Pape suggested that when giving evidence to the FAC Dr Kelly was probably misled because Mr Chidgey suggested that the words which he quoted to Dr Kelly were said by him in a meeting with Ms Watts, whereas they were said in a telephone conversation. This may be so, but after the hearing before the FAC I think that Dr Kelly must have been concerned by his express denial that the words quoted on the Newsnight programme by Ms Watts came from him."
"The Parliamentary Question, which was an entirely proper one, sent to him on the morning of 17 July asking what Civil Service and MoD rules and regulations had been infringed by him talking to Mr Gilligan and the Parliamentary Question, which was also an entirely proper one, asking the Secretary of State for Defence what disciplinary measures his Department would take against him, would have made it appear likely to him that his discussions with journalists were going to come under investigation. As Professor Hawton stated, the difficulties for him were escalating and the prospect for an early resolution of his difficulties were diminishing."
In paragraph 450 I state that it is not possible to be certain as to the factors which drove Dr Kelly to commit suicide but in the light of the evidence which I have heard I consider that it is very probable that Professor Hawton's opinion as to the factors which contributed to Dr Kelly taking his own life is correct and, in paragraph 451, I adopt Professor Hawton's opinion as to the factors which may have led Dr Kelly to take his own life as being my conclusion on this issue. His opinion was stated in the following evidence which he gave:
"Q. Have you considered, now, with the benefit of hindsight that we all have, what factors did contribute to Dr Kelly's death?
A. I think that as far as one can deduce, the major factor was the severe loss of self esteem, resulting from his feeling that people had lost trust in him and from his dismay at being exposed to the media.
Q. And why have you singled that out as a major factor?
A. Well, he talked a lot about it; and I think being such a private man, I think this was anathema to him to be exposed, you know, publicly in this way. In a sense, I think he would have seen it as being publicly disgraced.
Q. What other factors do you think were relevant?
A. Well, I think that carrying on that theme, I think he must have begun - he is likely to have begun to think that, first of all, the prospects for continuing in his previous work role were diminishing very markedly and, indeed, my conjecture that he had begun to fear he would lose his job altogether.
Q. What effect is that likely to have had on him?
A. Well, I think that would have filled him with a profound sense of hopelessness; and that, in a sense, his life's work had been not wasted but that had been totally undermined.
LORD HUTTON: Could you just elaborate a little on that, Professor, again? As sometimes is the case in this Inquiry, witnesses give answers and further explanation is obvious, but nonetheless I think it is helpful just to have matters fully spelt out. What do you think would have caused Dr Kelly to think that the prospects of continuing in his work were becoming uncertain?
A. Well, I think, my Lord, that first of all, there had been the letter from Mr Hatfield which had laid out the difficulties that Dr Kelly, you know, is alleged to have got into.
LORD HUTTON: Yes.
A. And in that letter there was also talk that should further matters come to light then disciplinary proceedings would need to be instigated.
LORD HUTTON: Yes.
A. And then of course there were the Parliamentary Questions which we have heard about, which suggested that questions were going to be asked about discipline in Parliament.
LORD HUTTON: Yes. Thank you.
MR DINGEMANS: Were there any other relevant factors?
A. I think the fact that he could not share his problems and feelings with other people, and the fact that he, according to the accounts I have been given, actually increasingly withdrew into himself. So in a sense he was getting further and further from being able to share the problems with other people, that is extremely important.
Q. Were there any other factors which you considered relevant?
A. Those are the main factors that I consider relevant."
In paragraphs 452 to 465 I deal briefly with a number of other matters which were referred to in the course of the Inquiry. They are:
"(a) Did Mr Gilligan give adequate notice to the Government on 28 May 2003 of the allegations to be reported in his broadcasts on WMD on the Today programme on 29 May?
(b) Mr Campbell's evidence to the FAC about his involvement in September 2002 in the preparation of the draft dossiers.
(c) Mr Gilligan's e-mail of 14 July 2003 intended for some members of the FAC.
(d) Dr Kelly's meeting with the MoD on 14 July 2003.
(e) The manner in which Dr Kelly was questioned when he gave evidence to the FAC on 15 July 2003.
(f) The Walter Mitty remark by Mr Thomas Kelly.
(g) Dr Brian Jones' letter to the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence dated 8 July 2003."
In paragraphs 466 and 467 I summarise the conclusions which I have already stated in the course of this statement.
In paragraphs 468 to 473 I make a number of final observations in which I record my gratitude and thanks to Mrs Kelly and her daughters for the great assistance to which they have given to the Inquiry in a time of great sorrow and stress for them.
I express my thanks and indebtedness to the counsel and solicitors to the Inquiry and to the counsel and solicitors for the parties who were represented. I also thank the Government and the BBC and the other parties and their legal advisers for the very large volume of documents which were provided for the Inquiry and which cast much light on the decisions and actions taken during the relevant periods.
I state that I was greatly assisted in conducting the Inquiry by the very thorough investigations carried out by the Thames Valley Police into the circumstances surrounding Dr Kelly's death, and I record my admiration and appreciation for the excellent and dedicated work of the Secretary to the Inquiry and the three other members of the administrative staff who gave me great assistance.
I state in paragraph 472 that the circumstances leading up to Dr Kelly's death were wholly exceptional and I have decided that it is unnecessary for me to make any express recommendations because I have no doubt that the BBC and the Government will take note of the criticisms which I have made in this report. The death of Dr Kelly was a great tragedy and I conclude my report with these words:
"Dr Kelly was a devoted husband and father and a public servant who served his country and the international community with great distinction both in the United Kingdom and in very difficult and testing conditions in Russia and Iraq. The evidence at this Inquiry has concentrated largely on the last two months of Dr Kelly's life, and therefore it is fitting that I should end this report with some words written in Dr Kelly's obituary in The Independent on 31 July by Mr Terence Taylor, the President and Executive Director of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, Washington DC and a former colleague of Dr Kelly:
'It is most important that the extraordinary public attention and political fallout arising from the events of the past month do not mask the extraordinary achievements of a scientist who loyally served not only his Government but also the international community at large.' "
I deplore the reporting of some of the conclusions of my report by a newspaper this morning in circumstances where it was known that in the public interest I had sought to ensure that the contents of the report would remain confidential until it was published.
Throughout this Inquiry I have taken steps to make available to the public as soon as possible the evidence I have heard and all the statements which I have made.
In the interests of fairness I gave advance copies of my report to the parties 24 hours in advance of publication subject to strict undertakings as to confidentiality, and it is all the more regrettable that the newspaper published its report of some of my conclusions when the public had only to wait for half a day before I published the full contents of my report.
I am now giving urgent consideration to what investigative and legal action I should take in respect of the newspaper and its source.
28 January 2004