The Hutton Inquiry
46. On 30 June 2003 Dr Kelly wrote a letter to Dr Bryan Wells, his line manager in the MoD. Dr Wells held the post of Director of Counter Proliferation and Arms Control in the MoD. The letter was received by Dr Wells in the late afternoon of 1 July. The letter was as follows:
Andrew Gilligan and his single anonymous source
Over the past month controversy has raged over the September 2002 Iraq WMD Dossier primarily because Andrew Gilligan of the BBC has claimed that the dossier was "sexed up" at the behest of Alastair Campbell the Prime Minister's press officer.
Andrew Gilligan is a journalist that I know and have met.
As you know I have been involved in writing three "dossiers" concerning Iraq - the 1999 UNSCOM/Butler Status of Verification Report, the September 2002 International Institute of Strategic Studies "Iraq WMD" report, and the UK Government "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction". My contributions to the latter were in part 2 (History of UN Inspections) and part 1 chapter 2 (Iraq's programmes 1971-1998) at the behest of the FCO and I was not involved in the intelligence component in any way nor in the process of the dossier's compilation. I have not acknowledged to anyone outside FCO my contribution to any [of] these reports although it is easy to assume and conclude that I made contributions because of my substantial role in elucidating Iraq's biological weapons programme. I am not a member of the intelligence community although I interact with that community and I am essentially, as an inspector, a consumer of intelligence not a generator of intelligence.
The contents of both IISS and UK Government dossiers, which both rely heavily on the 1999 Butler report, I have discussed with many individuals drawn from the UN, "Think Tanks" academia, the arms control community, together with the media. My discussions have been entirely technical and factual and although the "45 minute deployment" issue has obviously been raised I have always given the honest answer that I do not know what it refers to and that I am not familiar with an Iraqi weapons system that it matches. The latter is of significance to the UN since they had to take it into account in their work. The UK Dossier was of general interest for about ten days after publication and, with the exception of UNMOVIC, was not a topic later raised with me. After that my discussions about Iraq's WMD centred on UNMOVIC's re-engagement with Iraq, the "enhanced" inspection process and UNVMOVIC's findings. Since the war I have discussed with some of those same individuals the failure to use chemical and biological weapons by Iraq and the apparent lack of success in finding such weapons after the war. It is natural to do so since I am one of the few who knows Iraq's programmes in detail and my information is derived from my United Nations work.
I have not had extensive dealings with Andrew Gilligan. As I recall I first met him at the IISS "Global Strategic Review" in September 2002 after the IISS dossier was published but before the UK Government dossier appeared. We would have discussed the IISS dossier since it was at the forefront of delegates discussions but the detail is now forgotten. I cannot recall meeting him before that although it is entirely possible that we have attended the same meetings at Chatham House or IISS. I next met with him in February 2003 at his request because he was about to depart to Iraq to cover the forthcoming war. I cannot recall any contact in the interim and do not believe that contact was made. It is some time since that meeting but I believe that we covered the topics of Hans Blix and UNMOVIC inspections, Iraqi individuals associated with the WMD programmes and sites associated with the programme. I also spoke separately with Linsey Hilsum (Channel 4), Carolyn Hawley and Jane Corbin (BBC) about the same issues before they went to Iraq. Gilligan said that he would informally tell me about his experiences in Iraq on his return (as did Jane Corbin). I have spoken to both since the war. I have had a number of telephone exchanges with Jane Corbin principally because she is keen to do a follow up to her UNMOVIC "fly on the wall" with the Iraq Survey Group (and my comments to her have been neutral) but none with Gilligan other than one made by him to arrange to meet to discuss his experience in Iraq. I also speak irregularly with Susan Watts the BBC Science Editor and Andrew Veitch the Channel Four Science Editor about scientific and technical aspects of Iraq's weapons and UN inspections.
I met with Gilligan in London on May 22nd for 45 minutes in the evening to privately discuss his Iraq experiences and definitely not to discuss the dossier (I would not have met with him had it been the case). As I recall, we discussed his ability to report before, during, and after the war in the presence of minders and freedom to move around Baghdad; accommodation at the Palestine Hotel; his impression of the coalition attacks; US military protection of journalists; the revelations likely to be made by Amer Al-Sa'adi, Huda Amash, Rihab Taha, Tariq Aziz and Ahmed Murtadda who are individuals associated with Iraq's "past" programme. He was particularly intrigued by Huda since he visited her home and met her husband but not Huda after the war and found her home guarded by "regime" Iraqis. We also discussed the failure of Iraq to use WMD and the inability to find them. I offered my usual and standard explanations (conditions early in the war not favourable to CB use and lack of command and control late in the war; that the small arsenal of weapons (or its destroyed remnants) compared to 1991 would be difficult to find without human information). The issue of 45 minutes arose in terms of the threat (aerial versus land launch) and I stated that I did not know what it refers to (which I do not). He asked why it should be in the dossier and I replied probably for impact. He raised the issue of Alastair Campbell and since I was not involved in the process (not stated by me) I was unable to comment. This issue was not discussed at any length and was essentially an aside. I made no allegations or accusations about any issue related to the dossier or the Government's case for war concentrating on his account of his stay in Iraq. I did not discuss the "immediacy" of the threat. The discussion was not about the dossier. Had it been so then I would have indicated that from my extensive and authoritative knowledge of Iraq's WMD programme, notably its biological programme, that the dossier was a fair reflection of open source information (ie UNSCOM/UNMOVIC) and appreciations.
I most certainly have never attempted to undermine Government policy in any way especially since I was personally sympathetic to the war because I recognised from a decade's work the menace of Iraq's ability to further develop its non-conventional weapons programmes.
I have had no further contact with Andrew Gilligan since May 22nd.
I did not even consider that I was the "source" of Gilligan's information until a friend in RUSI said that I should look at the "Oral Evidence provided to the Foreign Affairs Committee" on 19th June because she recognised that some comments were the sort that I would make about Iraq's chemical and biological capacity. The description of that meeting in small part matches my interaction with him especially my personal evaluation of Iraq's capability but the overall character is quite different. I can only conclude one of three things. Gilligan has considerably embellished my meeting with him; he has met with other individuals who truly were intimately associated with the dossier; or he has assembled comments from both multiple direct and indirect sources for his articles.
I should explain my "unusual" interaction with the media. In August 1991 I led the first biological weapons inspection in Iraq. I had no media exposure before that although anticipating that it would be inevitable I attended at my request the MOD Senior Officers TV course at Wilton Park which served to make me aware of some of the pitfalls of journalism. During and after the first inspection as Chief Inspector I conducted a number of major press conferences including the internationally covered midday press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. That meant that the media were very much aware of me thereafter. Over the next ten years I undertook at the request of MOD, FCO, CBD Porton Down, and the (sic) especially the UN press office and UNSCOM/ UNMOVIC press officer both attributable interviews and occasionally unattributable briefings. All such interactions were cleared by the appropriate authority. As my contact details became known it became inevitable that direct approaches were made and I used my discretion as [to] whether I provided information. My interaction with the media helped keep the issue of Iraq's WMD a live issue. I interact with the media on four issues - Iraq, Soviet/Russian biological warfare, smallpox and anthrax. If it was technical information available from open sources (and nearly all requests were such) then I provided details or more realistically a clarification and explanation of that information (I tend to be a human archive on Iraq's chemical and biological programmes). If it was about individuals (Iraqi or UN) I would comment only on their role and not their personality. Comment on other matters were declined although in the case of Iraq it is impossible to draw a clear distinction between the truly technical and Iraq's political concealment.
I have appeared on many British and foreign television programmes including Today, Panorama, Channel 4 News, Newsnight, ABC, CBS sixty minutes, CNN etc. and I continue to get requests to do so. Since September 11th I no longer talk to camera about Iraq and rarely on other issues. All media requests are referred to James Paver of the FCO Press Office and most are now discouraged from approaching him by my stating that I doubted that it would be possible.
I have never served as a designated spokesperson for any organisation, never initiated the release of information on behalf of any organisation, and never discussed a JIC report. I have never contacted any journalist to claim that a newspaper report was correct (or incorrect). I have never made a claim as to the timing of when any part of the dossier was included. I have never acted as a conduit to release or leak information. I have never discussed classified information with anyone other than those cleared so to do. I do not feel "deep unease" over the dossier because it is completely coincident with my personal views on Iraq's unconventional weapons capability.
With hindsight I of course deeply regret talking to Andrew Gilligan even though I am convinced that I am not his primary source of information. At the time of considerable disarray in Iraq I was eager to gain whatever first hand information I could about the circumstances in Iraq and individuals associated with Iraq's WMD programme. I anticipated, incorrectly, that I would shortly return to Iraq to debrief some of those individuals and this is why I have spoken to some journalists who have also interacted with them recently.
I hope this letter helps unravel at least a small part of the "45 minute story". It was a difficult decision to make to write to you because I realise that suspicion falls on me because of my long association with Iraq's WMD programme investigation and the acknowledgement that I know Andrew Gilligan. I can only repeat that I do not believe that I am the single source referred to and that much of the information attributed to that source I am completely unsighted on and would not be able to provide informed comment about.
47. On 2 July Dr Wells wrote to Mr Martin Howard, the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence:
DR DAVID KELLY
You will wish to be aware of the attached letter that David Kelly has sent me. I am planning to speak to David about it on the afternoon of 4 July, and would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you beforehand. You may wish to pass a copy to the leak inquiry personnel.
48. Mr Howard received Dr Wells' letter on 3 July and he informed Sir Kevin Tebbit of Dr Wells' letter and of Dr Wells' intention to speak to Dr Kelly on the afternoon of 4 July. Sir Kevin then decided that Dr Kelly should be interviewed by Mr Richard Hatfield, the Personnel Director of the MoD together with Dr Wells. Sir Kevin also informed the Secretary of State for Defence, Mr Geoffrey Hoon MP, that an official, whom he did not name, had admitted speaking to Mr Gilligan and that he would be interviewed the next day.
49. On 4 July Mr Hatfield interviewed Dr Kelly at 11.30am and Dr Wells also attended the interview. On 7 July Mr Hatfield prepared a note of the interview. The note was as follows:
NOTE OF INTERVIEW WITH DR DAVID KELLY
I interviewed Dr Kelly about his letter dated 30 June to his line manager, Dr Bryan Wells, at 11.30 on Friday 4 July. Dr Wells was present. The interview ended at approximately 13:15.
I began by explaining to Dr Kelly that his letter had serious implications. First, on the basis of his own account, it appeared that he breached the normal standards of Civil Service behaviour and departmental regulations by having had a number of unauthorised and unreported contacts with journalists. Regardless of the detail of what had passed, this opened up the possibility of disciplinary action. Second, his unauthorised discussion with Andrew Gilligan on 22 May appeared to be directly relevant to the controversy surrounding allegations made by Gilligan about the government's WMD dossier even if, as he had said in his letter, this had not been the discussion described by Gilligan at the FAC hearing.
I had two objects in the interview. First, I was looking to form a view of whether there was evidence to suggest that a sufficiently serious offence might have been committed to warrant formal disciplinary action. If I so concluded, the next step would be to initiate a formal fact-finding hearing in accordance with departmental procedures at which he could be accompanied by a colleague or TU representative if he so wished. Alternatively, I might conclude that a lesser offence had been committed which could be dealt with informally or that no offence had been committed. Second, I wished to try to establish if his meeting with Andrew Gilligan was likely to form the basis of evidence given by Gilligan to the FAC about the WMD dossier.
Dr Kelly said that he understood this.
I then asked him briefly to clarify one or two points in his letter which were not entirely clear before asking him to explain more fully the account on the second page of his dealings with journalists.
Dr Kelly said that he was widely known as an expert on Iraqi WMD, not least because of his extensive experience as a UN inspector. During his period with the UN he had often been asked to act as an expert spokesman. Subsequently, he continued to participate in many seminars and similar events concerning this and related subjects. He was often approached by academics, journalists and others operating in the field for background information and technical advice at such events and, sometimes, outside them. When a journalist approached him, he usually consulted the FCO press office, but on occasions he used his own judgment as explained in his letter.
I asked why he consulted the FCO press office rather [than] the MOD. Dr Kelly said that his salary was paid by the FCO. I said that was irrelevant - he was seconded to MOD. I asked who had given him authority to exercise his own judgment about contacts with journalists on defence related business, since this was contrary to standing departmental instructions. Dr Kelly said that he had never read those instructions, nor sought to discover what guidance existed about contact with journalists. He said that he had not really regarded his discussions [with] journalists, academics etc as being about defence business but as a continuation of his role as UN expert. I said that that was, at best, extraordinarily naïve - journalists were not seeking information out of academic interest but to construct stories. It was important to know the context of their enquiries and any particular sensitivities before speaking to them. I asked Dr Kelly whether, for example, he knew that one of the other journalists to whom he had spoken, was married to a member of the FAC. He said he did not. This was an illustration of why people were required to seek advice and permission from the press office before speaking to journalists. It was also very important to report back after contacts.
I then asked Dr Kelly to summarise his contacts with Gilligan. He said that he had first met and spoken to Gilligan at the IISS seminar on WMD in September 2002 which took place just before publication of the government dossier. He was unaware of having spoken to Gilligan previously, although it was possible that they might both [have] been at other similar events without being aware of each other. Gilligan had telephoned in February 2003 to say that he was going to Iraq and would like to meet for some background briefing. I asked Dr Kelly why, given that there was an interval of 24 hours before the meeting, he had not contacted even the FCO press office. He said that he had regarded it as non-sensitive because it was the sort of background that he would have given to any academic or journalist.
Dr Kelly said his next contact with Gilligan was in May. Gilligan rang him to offer feedback from his experiences in Iraq. He had accepted, for the reasons set out in his letter. They met on 22 May in the Charing Cross Hotel. [Dr Kelly later said that the meeting took place about 1745 and lasted until approx 1830]. Gilligan took notes but did not appear to have a tape recorder (although Kelly did not ask and there was no discussion of the basis of the meeting). The vast bulk of the conversation was about Iraqi individuals associated with WMD programmes, the course of the war, and why WMD had not been used. In the course of the latter, as recorded in his letter, Gilligan had raised the reference in the September dossier to the possibility of weapons being deployed in 45 minutes. Kelly had commented that this did not correspond with any weapon system that he knew. Gilligan had asked why he thought the claim had been included in the dossier. Kelly had said that he had assumed that it was for impact. Although he did not know what the claim was based on, it emphasised the immediacy of the threat. [I have prepared a detailed comparison of Kelly's account of his conversation with Gilligan's FAC evidence based on the second part of the interview.] I asked why he had not even reported the conversation afterwards, given the public debate about the two government dossiers. Kelly repeated that the discussion had not really been about the dossier and he had not said anything controversial. Indeed, even after Gilligan made his allegations, he had not made any association with their May 22 meeting. It was only when a colleague remarked to him that some of the comments attributed to Gilligan's source sounded similar to his own views that he realised that others might make similar connections, which was why he had written to his line manager. As he had said in his letter, however, he did not believe that he could be Gilligan's primary source because he had not made any allegations against the government and his views also differed from those attributed to the source in other ways.
At this point I asked Dr Kelly whether he was confident that he had accurately reflected the meeting with Gilligan and whether there was anything he had omitted about this other meetings (sic). I stressed that whatever the actual significance of anything he had said to Gilligan, their meeting could turn out to be very important in relation to the public dispute between the government and the BBC about Gilligan's claims. It might become necessary to consider a public statement based on his account. Gilligan's reputation was at stake and he would be bound to challenge any inaccuracies - and I reminded Dr Kelly of the possibility that he might have been tape-recorded. Dr Kelly said that he understood this but stood by his account.
I said that I was prepared to accept his account in good faith. On the basis of what his letter and what he had said, it was clear that he had breached departmental instructions on numerous occasions by having conversations with journalists which had been neither unauthorised (sic) by or reported to the MOD press office, although on most occasions he had consulted the FCO press office. His contact with Gilligan was particularly ill-judged. Even if he was not Gilligan's primary source, it had had very awkward consequences both for him and the department, much of which could have been avoided even if he had reported the contact immediately afterwards. Someone who had dealt regularly with the press in a previous capacity should have known better. This was a potentially very serious matter. Nevertheless, I accepted his assurance that there has been no malicious intent and there appeared no reason to believe that classified material had been revealed. On that basis, I judged that it would not be appropriate to initiate formal disciplinary proceedings. I would, however, write to him shortly to record my displeasure at his conduct. I went on to instruct him to familiarise himself with departmental guidance about dealings with the media, to report all contacts to his line manager and never to agree to an interview without explicit authority. Finally, I warned Dr Kelly that any further breaches would be almost certain to lead to disciplinary action and the possibility of disciplinary action could of course be re-opened if further facts came to light that called his account and assurances into question.
The second part of the interview was devoted to a more detailed comparison of Dr Kelly's interview with Gilligan's FAC appearance. I will summarise my conclusions - my detailed analysis is appended. (Dr Wells also took notes.)
It is very difficult to reconcile Dr Kelly's account of his May 22 discussion with the evidence given to the FAC by Gilligan, if this is indeed all attributable to a single source. Kelly's account is consistent with some aspects of the FAC evidence and some of the discrepancies might be attributable to exaggeration, misrepresentation or misunderstanding by Gilligan and/or Kelly. Although Kelly admits to two comments that might lend credence to a claim that the dossier had been "sexed-up", he denies making such a claim and the related allegations which Gilligan attributed to his 'single source' and Kelly was not involved in the preparation of the intelligence part of the dossier. The focus of the two discussions also appears different - the dossier is only a small part of the Kelly discussion and Kelly specifically denies telling Gilligan (or anyone else outside government) that he had had any involvement with the dossier. Moreover, some of the views attributed to the source appear directly contrary to those expressed by Kelly.
There is also some evidence that does point to the existence of a different source for these allegations. Some aspects of Gilligan's description of his source do not properly match Kelly (although exaggeration and misrepresentation to try to protect the identity of the source are both possible.). And, if Gilligan's answer to Q550 from the chairman is accurate, the source is a member of the intelligence services, which cannot be a description of Kelly. Another serious discrepancy is that both Gilligan's FAC evidence and the original article suggest that he had a discussion with his source in May 2002, several months before he met Kelly.
Gilligan refers to four sources in the FAC session. There does not have to be a fifth person. It is possible that there is no single source and that the allegations are a collage, to which Kelly's interview contributed but the specific allegations about interference with the dossier come from somewhere else. Another possibility is that there are really only three sources: the "single source" might actually be one of the other three sources referred to by Gilligan as providing different information.
If both Gilligan's and Kelly's accounts are essentially truthful, perhaps the most likely supposition is that Kelly appeared to provide broad collateral for Gilligan's "single source" claims about the dossier, although not for the specific allegations about political interference. During his FAC hearing Gilligan talks about the "single source" as the centre of his 45-minute story but comments that this is supported by other evidence.
50. Dr Wells prepared a note of the interview on 4 July which was as follows:
NOTES OF A MEETING ON DAVID KELLY'S MEETING
Mr Richard Hatfield, Personnel Director
Dr Bryan Wells, DCPAC
Dr David Kelly, CPAC Special Adviser
Gilligan's evidence to the FAC
1. Hatfield said that he wanted to go through the Transcript of Gilligan's evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee and ask Kelly whether he could have been the source of what Gilligan said. He went through Gilligan's answers seriatim.
2. Q398 answer. Hatfield observed that Gilligan's meeting with his source might match his meeting with Kelly. In particular, the meeting had been Gilligan's initiative, and the source was quite closely connected with the issue of Iraqi WMD. Hatfield acknowledged that Kelly's account did not match Gilligan's descriptions of the source as someone he had known for some time, and that he had met several times and spoken on the phone from time to time; but Gilligan could have been embellishing.
3. Q417. Hatfield observed that the description of the source as a "British official who was involved in the preparation of the Dossier" matched Kelly. Kelly accepted this, but said that he had never acknowledged his role in the Dossier to anyone outside Government, although some might have guessed.
4. Q418 answer. Hatfield observed that the description of the source as "longstanding" and "one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up the Dossier" did not match Kelly, but again Gilligan could have been exaggerating.
5. Q449. Hatfield asked direct if Kelly had ever said that the "45 minute" assessment was put into the Dossier at a late stage (ie the week before publication, as Gilligan had alleged). Kelly replied that he had not been aware of the assessment (that some of Iraq's WMD could be ready within 45 minutes of an order) until he read it in the published version of the Dossier. He had not been involved in the final preparations of the Dossier (he had not been in London during August, but had been in September). The only late issue he had been involved in was responding to a request on whether from his perspective there was anything else to add to the Dossier. He had suggested adding passages on smallpox, but this had not been taken up. Hatfield double-checked - Kelly was saying that he was not aware of the 45 minute assessment until it was published and had no knowledge of the process by which it had been brought into the Dossier. Kelly confirmed.
6. Q451 answer. Hatfield asked again if Kelly was the source of the "allegations" about the sexing-up of the Dossier. Kelly replied that he was not.
7. Q453 answer. Hatfield asked if Kelly had discussed (he had) (sic) discussed with Gilligan the issue of Uranium being sought from Niger. Kelly said he thought he had, but he was not involved in the issue and would not have offered his own view (his own position was that he had nothing other than the IAEA view). Hatfield asked again in relation to Q454 answer: Kelly replied that he did not (and would not have) offered the view that this assessment was based on "unreliable information".
8. Q455. Hatfield asked again if Kelly had been the source of the allegations about the "45 minute claim". Kelly reiterated that he was not.
9. Q457 answer. Hatfield asked if there had been an exchange in which he identified Alastair Campbell as the person from No.10 who had asked for the Dossier to be changed to include the "45 minute claim". Kelly said that he had not said anything like the quotation that Gilligan attributed to the source: he did not have "wishes" in relation to the contents of the Dossier.
10.Q461 answer. Hatfield asked if the source's quote (that the "45 minute claim" had confused conventional and CBW deployment times) reflected Kelly's views. Kelly replied that he had no opinion on the "45 minute claim". He did not know what the original source was.
11. Q463 answer. Hatfield asked if Kelly shared the source's view that Downing Street had spoiled its case by exaggeration. Kelly replied that he had not said that the Dossier was exaggerated. He had taken the line that the threat from Iraqi WMD was current and specific.
12. Q478. Hatfield observed that Kelly had already denied alleging that the 45 minute claim was unreliable.
13. Q486 answer. Hatfield asked if Kelly shared the source's views that weapons at 45 minutes deployment would have been found by now because they could not be deeply concealed. Kelly replied that this was not a statement he would make.
14. Q511 answer. Hatfield asked if Kelly was of the view that Iraq had not been able to weaponise CBW. Kelly replied that this was not his assessment. Hatfield asked if Kelly shared the source's views that it was 30% likely that there had been an Iraqi CW programme in the 6 months before the conflict. Kelly replied that he had no doubt that Iraq had a CW programme, but this was the sort of assessment he might make purely to weapons production. Hatfield probed: Gilligan was specifically quoting his source - had Kelly used those actual words? Kelly said that he had not, but accepted that it could be an inaccurate summation of what he might have said. Hatfield asked whether Kelly could have been the source of Gilligan's quotation in the Q545 answer (that it was more likely that Iraq had a BW programme, but that it was small). Kelly replied that he would not have used those terms, but that the statement could be a loose paraphrase of his views.
15. Q559. Hatfield observed that Kelly did not match Gilligan's confirmation that his source was someone in the intelligence services.
16. Q565 answer. Kelly observed that Gilligan's description of the meeting's duration as being "a couple of hours, perhaps, an hour and a half" did not match the meeting he had been at: his strong recollection was that it had been around 45 minutes.
17. Hatfield summed up. There appeared to be consistencies between parts of Gilligan's testimony to the Foreign Affairs Committee, and what Kelly says that he said to Gilligan. In particular, the meeting was set up at Gilligan's initiative, and Kelly had acknowledged that the statement that it was 30% likely that there was a CW programme in the 6 months before the conflict was consistent with his views. But there were significant discrepancies. In particular, Kelly denied having any knowledge of the "45 minutes claim" until after the Dossier was published, and denied having any knowledge of the process by which that assessment was included; he also denied giving any opinion that the evidence that Uranium had been sought from Niger was based on unreliable information. In addition, Kelly was not of the view that Iraq had not been able to weaponise CBW. There were other, minor inconsistencies with Gilligan's testimony: Kelly had not met Gilligan "several times", was not "long-standing, well-known" to Gilligan, and was not in the intelligence services, but Gillian might well have wished to embellish. Hatfield said that overall, his judgment was that if there were a single source for Gilligan's information, then it was not Kelly. Kelly's words may have been part of the background to Gilligan's stories, but on the basis of what he had testified, he was satisfied that Kelly was not the source of the most significant allegations.
51. On 4 July Sir Kevin Tebbit wrote to Sir David Omand, the Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator and Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office as follows:
ANDREW GILLIGAN AND THE SINGLE SOURCE
An official in the MOD had volunteered that he had a discussion with Andrew Gilligan on 22 May, one week before Gilligan's allegation about the interference in the production of the September dossier and the '45 minute story'. He is an FCO official seconded to the MOD's Proliferation and Arms Control Secretariat, with a long history of authorised dealing with the press in the course of his duties, though not in this case.
He was interviewed today by his line manager and my Personnel Director for two hours. The official claims that he met Gilligan to discuss Gilligan's experiences in Baghdad because he believed it would be helpful to him in his own role as a BW expert with long scientific/academic association with the Iraqi weapons programme, past experience as a UN Inspector and an expectation that he would be returning to Iraq to debrief Iraqis associated with their WMD programme shortly. It would appear, from what he had told us, that their discussion touched on some of the issues subsequently referred to by Gilligan in the press in a number of ways:
My immediate reaction was that this must be the "single source" to whom Gilligan referred to in his testimony to the FAC as the origin of the story that the Government exaggerated intelligence contained in the September dossier. Certainly, his comments to Gilligan could have been incorporated into Gilligan's 29 May story. However, closer examination, following today's interview suggests that this would not necessarily be a reliable conclusion. A significant element of the information that Gilligan attributes to this source in his FAC testimony would not have been known to this individual: he was not, for example, involved in, or claims to have been involved in, the intelligence component of the dossier or the process of the dossier's compilation. There are also discrepancies, over the circumstances of the meeting, the length of their relationship, and, indeed, about the nature of the individual: Gilligan claims that this source was a senior official in charge of drawing up the dossier. This official - although an acknowledged expert on Iraqi WMD - patently was not so involved; nor does he subscribe to views attributed to Gilligan's source.
So, there are three possibilities:
(a) that Gilligan has embellished this official's meeting with him, but that he is the 'single anonymous source';
(b) that Gilligan's source is someone else;
(c) that no one 'source' exists and is in fact a hotchpotch of comments from numerous individuals and articles.
In the case of (a), we would have the strongest possible reason for publicly correcting the misrepresentation made by Gilligan in the interests of factual accuracy. However, we do not have sufficient evidence to reach such a conclusion with any degree of safety. The official himself is adamant that he is not the single source. Were we to accuse Gilligan and the BBC of misrepresenting the official's remarks, it would be easy for Gilligan to claim that his source was someone else and that the Government was pursuing a vendetta.
For these reasons, I do not recommend that we use what the official has told us to seek to correct the public record further.
I do, however, believe it necessary to have defensive material available should the story leak. Of this there must be a possibility. The official himself says he came forward, not because he considered that he was the source of Gilligan's information, but because a contact in RUSI suggested that Gilligan's evidence to the FAC looked as if it drew on the sort of comments he might make about Iraq's CW and BW capability. In general, there must, therefore, be some speculation already. Contingent lines have, therefore, been prepared by officials here. These are enclosed. [The contingent lines, which appear from the enclosure to the letter to have been a press statement, are set out in appendix 4].
I should add that the official has clearly breached the MOD's rules about unauthorised contact with the media. There is no reason to suspect a breach of the OSA [Official Secrets Act] or compromise of security information, but discipline is being reinforced.
I am copying this letter to Andrew Turnbull, David Manning (No.10), Michael Jay (FCO), Eliza Manningham-Buller (Security Services) and John Scarlett (JIC).
52. On the evening of Thursday 3 July Mr Hoon telephoned Mr Jonathan Powell, the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff and told him that an official had come forward to say that he had spoken to Mr Gilligan. Later on that evening in the course of a general conversation on the telephone with the Prime Minister, who was in the North West of England, Mr Powell passed on to the Prime Minister the information about an official having come forward. On the afternoon of Friday 4 July Sir David Manning, Head of the Overseas and Defence Secretariat of the Cabinet Office, held a meeting in his office in 10 Downing Street with Sir David Omand, Mr Powell and Mr John Scarlett, the Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, to discuss the course of action which should be followed in light of the knowledge that an official had come forward to say that he had spoken to Mr Gilligan.
53. On 5 July Sir Kevin Tebbit sent a further letter to Sir David Omand in which he wrote:
ANDREW GILLIGAN AND THE SINGLE SOURCE
Since my letter to you yesterday afternoon, there has been a further development which points more strongly to our official as being the "source" for the Gilligan allegation about the dossier (albeit with plenty of room still for the possibility of embellishment from other sources and misrepresentation by the journalist).
Today's Times carries an article by Tom Baldwin which contains further hints as to Gilligan's informant. There are three new pointers, specifically:
Although the official is not in Iraq at present I understand that he was there recently, after his conversation with Gilligan on 22 May and was planning to visit again later this month as an expert helping with the work of the Iraq Survey Group searching for WMD. The fact that the BBC are uncertain of his precise whereabouts, is consistent with the official's statement at the MOD's interviews yesterday that he has had no contact with the BBC since 22 May. Gilligan will have been aware of his general plans to visit - the official states that this was the reason why he agreed to meet Gilligan in the first place - but the cutting of contact since then would explain the BBC's lack of precision in their knowledge about the exact timings of his presence in Iraq itself.
There remain many discrepancies between Gilligan's account of what he claims to have been told by the official and the official's own version of what transpired. We still cannot exclude the possibility that the main source, or other sources, are elsewhere. But it may be possible to explain and reconcile at least some of the mismatches. An official who denies having had access to the intelligence reporting or a hand in the production of the intelligence part of the dossier, as the official does, may nevertheless have said enough based on his expert knowledge of the earlier Iraqi programme, for someone of Gilligan's methods to claim that the official discredited the "45 minutes" intelligence eg by stating that such a high level of readiness did not correspond to the Iraqi systems of which he was aware.
Records of the MOD's interview with the official are still being prepared. I have asked that they be forwarded to us as soon as possible. But I wanted you and colleagues to be aware of this development immediately. The Times story today, whether accurate or not, will increase the likelihood that over the weekend other journalists will indeed identify and name the BBC's source as our official. (He is as I indicated in my earlier letter well known in media/academic circles).
There are also considerations, as we discussed yesterday, whether the Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman should be informed of what we now know, however inconclusive, before their report is published on Monday. And there is the question of whether this plays into the continuing impasse between the Government and the BBC.
I am copying this letter to Andrew Turnbull, David Manning (No.10), Michael Jay (FCO), Eliza Manningham-Buller (Security Service) and John Scarlett (JIC).
54. On 6 July Sir David Omand sent a letter to Sir Kevin Tebbit (dated 5 July) which Sir Kevin received on Monday 7 July in which Sir David wrote:
ANDREW GILLIGAN AND THE SINGLE SOURCE
Thank you for your letter of Friday afternoon. I discussed the contents with Jonathan Powell, David Manning and John Scarlett that evening. We recognised that at least part of the explanation of the Gilligan story could rest on the discussion he had had with the official who has now come forward. At the appropriate point it would be incumbent upon us to inform the FAC (and the ISC) so that they were not placed in a false position. But we also noted your caveat about the need to be more certain of the facts before reaching any firm conclusion, given certain apparent discrepancies. The Prime Minister subsequently saw your letter and spoke to Jonathan Powell, and as I relayed to you, he agreed that as you had recommended no immediate action should be taken to try to correct the record with the FAC or with the BBC until we were more sure of our ground.
The Prime Minister asked for a deeper analysis of what the official has actually said, read against the account Gilligan himself has given the FAC and other statements by the BBC. You agreed to put this in hand, in the light of the record being prepared by Richard Hatfield. When we spoke later yesterday evening, we recognised that it might be necessary for the individual to be re-interviewed on Monday.
Your follow-up letter on Saturday has also been seen by the Prime Minister, who was grateful for the further information in it. He discussed the options with me on Sunday morning. I was able to pass on to him the view of the Foreign Secretary, relayed to me by the FCO Resident Clerk on Saturday evening, against any immediate action with the FAC in advance of the publication of their report on Monday (their Report is complete and some members of the Committee are now abroad). The Prime Minister concluded that notwithstanding the further circumstantial details in your second letter he agreed with your recommendation that there were still too many unknowns for us to approach the FAC now. But we may need to react quickly if the meeting of BBC Governors tonight or comment on the FAC Report changes the position. As I reported to you this afternoon the PM is appearing before the Liaison Committee on Tuesday and you will need to submit updated advice for that appearance in any case.
We agreed that you will circulate the detailed account of the first interview as soon as possible, and consider whether to reinterview the individual on Monday. I should add that the Prime Minister was minded to ask that the ISC be fully briefed in confidence on the case - the timing we can consider in the light of your further advice.
I am copying this letter to Andrew Turnbull, David Manning and Jonathan Powell, Eliza Manningham-Buller and John Scarlett, and to the Private Secretary to Michael Jay (whom you contacted yesterday).
55. In the course of Saturday and Sunday 5 and 6 July, a number of these senior officials had discussions on the telephone with each other as to the course which should be followed and some of them also had telephone conversations with the Prime Minister. In addition Mr Hoon and Mr Alastair Campbell had discussions on the telephone (see paragraph 307).
56. On the evening of Sunday 6 July at 6.30pm there was a special meeting of the BBC Governors to consider (inter alia) the issues arising from Mr Gilligan's reports on the Today programme on 29 May 2003. I shall return to consider this meeting in greater detail at a later stage in this report. After the meeting Mr Gavyn Davies, the Chairman of the BBC issued the following statement:
The BBC Board of Governors met this evening [Sunday 6 July 2003] to discuss the allegations made by Alastair Campbell against the BBC's overall coverage of the Iraq war, and its specific coverage of the September intelligence dossier by Andrew Gilligan in the Today programme.
The Governors questioned Greg Dyke, the Director-General, and Richard Sambrook, the Director of News, about Mr Campbell's allegations. The Board reached the following conclusions.
First, the Board reiterates that the BBC's overall coverage of the war, and the political issues surrounding it, has been entirely impartial, and it emphatically rejects Mr Campbell's claim that large parts of the BBC had an agenda against the war.
We call on Mr Campbell to withdraw these allegations of bias against the BBC and its journalists.
Second, the Board considers that the Today programme properly followed the BBC's Producers' Guidelines in its handling of the Andrew Gilligan report about the September intelligence dossier, which was broadcast on 29 May.
Although the Guidelines say that the BBC should be reluctant to broadcast stories based on a single source, and warn about the dangers of using anonymous sources, they clearly allow for this to be done in exceptional circumstances. Stories based on senior intelligence sources are a case in point.
We note that an entirely separate story was broadcast by an unconnected BBC journalist on Newsnight on 2 June. This story reported very similar allegations to those reported by Andrew Gilligan on the Today programme, but the story has not been singled out for similar criticism by government spokesmen.
Moreover, as these reports fitted in to a general pattern of concern, conveyed to a number of BBC journalists with good contacts in the security services, we consider that it was entirely proper to reflect some unease about the presentation of the Government's arguments in the disputed dossiers.
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.
Third, the Board considers that the Today programme should have kept a clearer account of its dealings with the Ministry of Defence on this story and could have also asked the No 10 Press Office for a response prior to broadcasting the story.
However, we note that firm government denials of the story were broadcast on the Today Programme within 90 minutes of the original broadcast by Andrew Gilligan, and these were followed soon after on the same programme by equally firm denials by a defence minister.
Fourth, the Board intends to look again at the rules under which BBC reporters and presenters are permitted to write for newspapers, once it has received recommendations from the Director of News. This examination will be conducted during the summer.
Finally, the Board wishes to place on record that the BBC has never accused the Prime Minister of lying, or of seeking to take Britain into war under misleading or false pretences.
The BBC did not have an agenda in its war coverage, nor does it now have any agenda which questions the integrity of the Prime Minister.
In summary, the Governors are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the BBC upholds the highest standards of impartiality and accuracy. We are wholly satisfied that BBC journalists and their managers sought to maintain impartiality and accuracy during this episode.
Early on the morning of 7 July between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. the Prime Minister and Mr Gavyn Davies had a private telephone conversation at the request of the former. The discussion was an amicable one in which each expressed his point of view on the dispute which had arisen between the Government and the BBC but they were unable to reach agreement.
57. On the morning of Monday 7 July the FAC issued their report on The Decision to go to War in Iraq. At the commencement of their report they set out their Conclusions and Recommendations which included the following:
9. We conclude that the 45 minutes claim did not warrant the prominence given to it in the dossier, because it was based on intelligence from a single, uncorroborated source. We recommend that the Government explain why the claim was given such prominence. (Paragraph 70)
11. We conclude that Alastair Campbell did not play any role in the inclusion of the 45 minutes claim in the September dossier. (Paragraph 77)
12. We conclude that it was wrong for Alastair Campbell or any Special Adviser to have chaired a meeting on an intelligence matter, and we recommend that this practice cease. (Paragraph 79)
13. We conclude that on the basis of the evidence available to us Alastair Campbell did not exert or seek to exert improper influence on the drafting of the September dossier. (Paragraph 84)
14. We conclude that the claims made in the September dossier were in all probability well founded on the basis of the intelligence then available, although as we have already stated we have concerns about the emphasis given to some of them. We further conclude that, in the absence of reliable evidence that intelligence personnel have either complained about or sought to distance themselves from the content of the dossier, allegations of politically inspired meddling cannot credibly be established. (Paragraph 86)
15. We conclude that without access to the intelligence or to those who handled it, we cannot know if it was in any respect faulty or misinterpreted. Although without the Foreign Secretary's degree of knowledge, we share his confidence in the men and women who serve in the agencies. (Paragraph 90)
16. We conclude that the language used in the September dossier was in places more assertive than that traditionally used in intelligence documents. We believe that there is much value in retaining the measured and even cautious tones which have been the hallmark of intelligence assessments and we recommend that this approach be retained. (Paragraph 100)
17. We conclude that continuing disquiet and unease about the claims made in the September dossier are unlikely to be dispelled unless more evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programmes comes to light. (Paragraph 108)
26. 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. (Paragraph 154) .
58. On the morning of Monday 7 July Mr Scarlett sent the following note to Sir David Omand:
ANDREW GILLIGAN AND THE MOD SINGLE SOURCE
I agree with Kevin Tebbit's letter of Saturday that the finger points strongly at David Kelly as Gilligan's source. I have been through the Gilligan/FAC transcript again. I attach copies of two pages in particular which seem to make it clear that Gilligan has only talked to one person about the September dossier. If he could have referred to any corroborating information he would have done so. If this is true, Kelly is not telling the whole story.
Gilligan must have got the 45 minute single intelligence report item from somewhere, presumably Kelly. Conclusion: Kelly needs a proper security-style interview in which all these inconsistencies are thrashed out. Until we have the full story, we cannot decide what action to take. I think this is rather urgent. Happy to discuss.
59. Further meetings took place in 10 Downing Street on Monday and Tuesday 7 and 8 July to discuss the course to be followed in the light of Dr Kelly having come forward, and the Prime Minister was present at some of these meetings.
60. On 21 July 2003 Sir David Omand made a note for the record which was as follows:
MEETINGS IN THE PRIME MINISTER'S STUDY, 7 AND 8 JULY 2003
1. I was pulled out of a CMPS [Centre for Management and Policy Studies] lecture at 09.15 on Monday morning, 7 July, with a request to go straight to No.10. I joined a discussion in progress in the PM's study, with the PM, Foreign Secretary, David Manning, Jonathan Powell, Nigel Sheinwald, Sally Morgan. John Scarlett and Kevin Tebbit arrived a little late. Alastair Campbell was also present for part of the meeting.
2. The main subject was discussion of the FAC Report about to issue. There were various advance copies in the room. Lines to take were being prepared. It was noted that the FAC had split largely on party political lines, as the Appendices to the Report showed.
3. There was also a review of the weekend decision not to inform the FAC before the publication of their Report that Dr Kelly had come forward to say that he had met Mr Gilligan. Kevin Tebbit ran over the ground he had covered in his two letters (of Friday 4 and Saturday 5 July). There was some questioning from the PM about what we knew about Dr Kelly, and whether we could find out more about his views. Kevin Tebbit agreed to report back. Kevin Tebbit warned that Dr Kelly was an expert on Iraqi WMD and if he was summoned to give evidence some of it might be uncomfortable on specifics such as the likelihood of there being weapons systems being ready for use within 45 minutes. But he believed from what he had said to Richard Hatfield that Dr Kelly had no doubts that there were Iraqi WMD programmes being concealed from the inspectors. Kevin Tebbit also expressed the view that we would have to face up to the fact that Dr Kelly's name was likely to become public at some point soon, given the number of people he would have talked to. MOD were preparing contingency statements just in case.
4. There was complete agreement that the inconsistencies in Dr Kelly's story needed to be subject to more forensic examination, and that MOD ought to be considering re-interviewing him. Kevin Tebbit said that MOD were considering calling him back from a conference he was at in order to talk to him again. He reiterated that Dr Kelly had come forward of his volition, and that as far as MOD was concerned there was no question of any offence having been committed under the Official Secrets Act. Dr Kelly's continued co-operation was therefore essential. The Prime Minister made it clear that MOD should continue to handle the case properly, and should follow whatever internal procedures were normal in such cases.
5. John Scarlett and I were in a videoconference [*****] when we were asked to see the PM. I reported orally on further information received from the MOD to the effect that the re-interview had confirmed the earlier story as reported by Kevin Tebbit in his letter on Saturday. It looked as if the main explanation for the Gilligan story of a single source was Dr Kelly, but that Mr Gilligan may well have heavily embellished the conversation, or be drawing on other uncited sources, for the controversial parts of his story.
6. There was discussion (which I may have initiated) of the difficulty that Government witnesses before the ISC would be in if, as was very likely, they were asked whether we had a clue as to the identity of the Gilligan source. I said I would have to reply that we did have someone who had come forward - we could not attempt to cover up this important fact. And I was uneasy that we could be accused of a cover up if we did not tell the FAC, subject to whatever came out of a re-interview. I suggested that we should write to the Chairman of the ISC to tell them that an MOD official had come forward, and thus enable them to interview the individual if they thought fit. We could provide the actual name in confidence. The ISC took evidence in private, so confidentiality could be maintained. If we wrote to the FAC (which the FAC might feel was appropriate given that they had just completed a report on the subject) then this could be read as an invitation by them to summon Dr Kelly. We all agreed that the ISC was the proper forum for investigation of this lead, and not the FAC. But the Prime Minister made clear that if, as he suspected, the FAC insisted on calling Dr Kelly to give evidence then we could not in conscience order him not to appear given the relevance of the information he had given us to the FAC's own inquiry. It was accepted at the meeting that copying any ISC letter to the FAC would be tantamount to a public statement, and therefore we should make public in a straightforward way the letter to the ISC. I agreed to write the letter given my position as Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator. MOD would draft with the Cabinet Office. I would make the ISC aware of the actual name of Dr Kelly separately and in confidence.
7. There was also discussion, briefly, of whether the BBC should be informed in advance that a public announcement of an MOD official coming forward was about to be made. We felt there should be, as a courtesy. There was reference to an idea (possibly from MOD) that Mr Hoon should write to either the DG or the Chairman of Governors of the BBC, and after some discussion it was felt that the Chairman was the appropriate person given the Governors' meeting later that evening. It was felt that it would be fair to Dr Kelly to give the BBC the chance to clear his name but it was unreasonable to press the BBC to go further and reveal the name of their source if it was not Dr Kelly. We were clear that they would not do that.
8. Immediately after the meeting at about midday I went to see the Clerk to the ISC, and explain that I was minded to write to the Chairman in those terms. The Clerk expressed some concern, saying that the ISC would not want to be put in a position publicly of having to see an individual; they would make their own mind up on the progress of their inquiry. He was sure that Ann Taylor would not want to break the Committee rule that they were not giving a public commentary on the progress of their inquiry, and a publication of a letter from me to her might be seen as just that. I then had to leave immediately for Heathrow airport for an official visit to Ottawa. I was informed by telephone that Ann Taylor had confirmed she definitely did not want to receive any letter that was going to be made public. There was confirmation that she however would be prepared to see a reference to the ISC possibly interviewing the individual, if that came at the end of a press statement from Government.
61. Also on 21 July 2003 Mr John Scarlett made a note which was as follows:
AIDE-MEMOIRE: MEETINGS AT WHICH I WAS PRESENT
Friday 4 July
Approx 1800: DO [David Omand], DM [David Manning], JSc [John Scarlett], JP [Jonathan Powell]. DO and JSc report from Kevin Tebbit that an MOD official has come forward. Name given. Sounds like Gilligan's source. Noted that normal MOD personnel procedures must be followed and appropriate legal advice taken. Need to think about whether BBC Governors and/or FAC (both of whom deliberate or report in the next three days) should be informed. JP to report to PM [Prime Minister].
Monday 7 July
0900: 10 minute meeting, PM with JP and JSc. Brief discussion of whether Dr K [Dr Kelly] could be the source. PM states that it must be handled according to proper MOD and Civil Service procedures. We need to know more before deciding next steps.
0930: PM meeting with JP, J Straw [Jack Straw], JSc, DO, DM, NS [Nigel Sheinwald], TK [Tom Kelly], AC [Alastair Campbell], SN [Sally Morgan], KT [Kevin Tebbit]. Main purpose to discuss FAC report. Brief discussion of MOD source. If he appeared before a Committee, would he be likely to support or otherwise the Government position? JSc to seek advice from MOD. Was he or was he not the source? No further decision possible without knowing more about his contact with Gilligan. KT asked to arrange a further interview as soon as possible. On leaving meeting KT to issue instructions for Dr K to come to London for interview.
Tuesday 8 July
0815: PM internal meeting to prepare for Liaison Committee. JP, AC, JSc, CS [Claire Sumner], CR [Catherine Rimmer], J Straw, DM, MR [Matthew Rycroft], TK (not all at once as I recall). At end PM wonders what to say if LC [Liaison Committee] asked about leak inquiries. Does PM have any idea about source? PM anxious not to be misleading if some kind of statement likely later in the day or next day. Eventually conclude that he must not trail a possible statement about anyone coming forward. He would reply, if asked, that we were taking the possibility of leaks seriously and looking at this in the normal way.
Circa 1145: PM meeting. DO, JSc, DM, JP, AC. Discussed informing ISC. SDO to send letter, JSc to draft. Do not want to involve FAC but if name becoming public they would be bound to ask to interview him. Agreement that the issue would inevitably become public. We were already open to criticism for not coming clean about the existence of a possible source. Not much time left. Also discussion of a letter from GH [Geoff Hoon] to Chairman BBC Governors.
1330: PM meeting. JP, JSc, AC, TK. Discussed draft letter to ISC. Word received from Ann Taylor that she does not want to receive it. Do press statement instead. Decide to draft press statement with separate private letter from GH to BBC Chairman giving the name. Discussion of how BBC will react (will they be ready to discuss this in businesslike way). If Dr K name becomes public will Government be criticised for putting him under "wider pressure"? PM repeats that MOD must remain in charge and follow their procedures.
62. At a meeting in 10 Downing Street on 7 July at which the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, Mr Jack Straw MP, were present it was decided that Dr Kelly should be further interviewed to find out more about what he had said to Mr Gilligan. Mr Dominic Wilson, the Private Secretary to Sir Kevin Tebbit sent Mr Hatfield the following minute which was also sent to Mr Martin Howard and Dr Wells. The minute was dated 8 July but it was drafted by Mr Wilson on 7 July and was read over to Mr Hatfield before the interview with Dr Kelly on that day. The minute was as follows:
GILLIGAN: INTERVIEW WITH DR KELLY
PUS was grateful for your minute of 7 July and record of your discussions with Dr Kelly.
2. What is now needed is a more intensive interview with Kelly. The objective would be to establish what transpired between him and Gilligan, with a reliability that will stand up to the intense glare of public scrutiny. The core issue in this respect is whether it was Kelly who alleged that the 45 minute intelligence was inserted into the dossier against the wishes of the intelligence community and at the behest of the Government in general and Alastair Campbell in particular.
3. PUS believes that this must be pinned down as clearly as possible because of the continuing problem with the BBC and the FAC's recommendation that Gilligan's contacts should be investigated. It should also be in Kelly's own interest for this to occur, given that at least one of his colleagues has already speculated that he could indeed be Gilligan's 'single anonymous source' and Kelly's own view (as we understand it) that this would be a misrepresentation of the position.
4. Against this background I understand that arrangements have been made for the further interview to be carried out by you and addresses (sic) at 1600 today. The PUS would like to consider in the light of this whether to recommend a public announcement. The key issues will be:
a. a judgment of the probability that Kelly is in (sic) the principal source of Gilligan's allegations - wittingly or otherwise (and the credibility of alternative explanations);
b. Kelly's readiness to be associated with a public statement that names him and carries a clear and sustainable refutation of the core allegation on the '45 minute' intelligence;
c.our view about the robustness of the rest of his position, including on Iraq's WMD programmes generally.
5. In all this PUS remains concerned to ensure that Dr Kelly's rights are respected - it is important that he understands he is cooperating voluntarily. There is also the different angle that in the event that it becomes evident that he may have divulged classified or privileged information contrary to the position so far, proceedings would need to be stopped immediately to avoid prejudicing any case that might then need to be brought.
63. On Monday 7 July Mr Alastair Campbell issued the following press statement:
I am very pleased that the FAC (Foreign Affairs Select Committee) inquiry has found that the allegations made against me broadcast by the BBC are untrue.
These allegations were that I was responsible for the insertion of the 45-minute intelligence into the WMD (weapons of mass destruction) dossier, against the wishes of the Intelligence Agencies, whilst probably knowing it to be wrong.
This was then repeated over five weeks. These allegations are all false as the FAC has found. Indeed, even Sir John Stanley has said on this, the BBC was wrong.
I want to make it clear yet again that I fully respect the independence of the BBC.
There can be a dispute between us as to whether they should ever have run the original story.
But surely there can be no dispute that the allegations, whether or not sources, are untrue.
Even now, all that I ask is that the BBC accept this, and I note that at no point did the BBC Governors in their statement last night claim that the story was true, merely that the BBC were within their rights to run it. This issue - the truth of the claims - is the only issue, and the one that the BBC should be addressing.
I am saddened that, for whatever reason and despite overwhelming evidence, they still refuse to admit that the allegations they broadcast were false.
On 7 July the BBC also issued the following press statement:
The BBC believes today's report from the Foreign Affairs Committee justifies its decision to broadcast the Today programme story of 29 May and the Newsnight story of 2 June and shows that both were in the public interest.
In particular, we believe the decision to highlight the circumstances surrounding the 45 minute claim has been vindicated.
We would point to the unanimous conclusion of the Foreign Affairs Committee in paragraphs 70 and 71, which says:
"We conclude that the 45 minute claim did not warrant the prominence given to it in the dossier, because it was based on intelligence based on a single uncorroborated source. We recommend that the Government explain why the claim was given such prominence."
The committee continues: "We further recommend that in its response to this report, the Government set out whether it still considers the September dossier to be accurate in what it states about the 45 minute claim, in the light of subsequent events."
It is because of BBC journalism that the problems surrounding the 45 minute claim have come to light and been given proper public attention.
We note that the committee was deeply divided on the role Alastair Campbell played in the compilation of the September dossier and only reached a decision which supported his position on the casting vote of the Labour chairman. We also note that not all the Labour MPs on the committee supported this decision.
We also consider it important, in the context of our reporting, that in paragraph 100 the committee says unanimously:
"The language used in the September dossier was more assertive than that traditionally used in intelligence documents."
And in paragraph 107, the committee says: "We conclude that the continuing disquiet and unease about the claims made in the September dossier are unlikely to be dispelled unless more evidence of Iraq's WMD programmes come to light."
We are pleased that Alastair Campbell said this morning that his complaint is about one story only and was no longer an attack on the whole of the BBC's journalism or coverage of the war.
On whether or not it was right for the BBC to broadcast the Today programme story on 29 May, the BBC will have to agree to disagree with Mr Campbell. The Foreign Affairs Select Committee makes no comment on this.
64. On Monday 7 July Dr Kelly was attending a course of pre-deployment training at the RAF station at Honington in Suffolk prior to leaving for Baghdad later that week. Dr Kelly was asked to return to London to be interviewed and he was interviewed on the afternoon of 7 July by Mr Hatfield and Mr Howard in the presence of Dr Wells. On 8 July Mr Hatfield wrote to Sir Kevin Tebbit as follows:
DR DAVID KELLY AND ANDREW GILLIGAN
1. I saw Dr Kelly again yesterday afternoon in company with Martin Howard and Bryan Wells.
2. As I told you last night, there was no change in the essentials of his story and in particular he stoutly maintains that, as in his original letter, he did not make accusations about the dossier and, in particular, did not suggest that any material had been added by Downing Street. Some of his other replies suggested that he had become rather more concerned that some of his background comments might have been regarded by Gilligan as providing collateral for his thesis and may well have been incorporated with information from other sources. As Kelly himself put it, "I am beginning to realise that I might have been led on!"
3. I made it clear to Dr Kelly that, given the FAC outcome and particularly the recommendation to try to follow up Gilligan's contacts, it was likely that the MOD would have to reveal that someone had come forward to admit talking to Gilligan. I said that I did not think that it would be necessary to reveal his name or to go into detail beyond indicating that the account given to us did not match Gilligan's PAC account, at least initially. It was, however, quite likely that his name would come out, not least because speculation about the nature of the source (eg the Times of 5 July 2003) might lead in his direction. It was also possible that, depending on further developments, the FAC might seek to call him as a witness. It was therefore very important that he should tell us if there was anything that he had omitted or was unsure about. Dr Kelly confirmed that there was nothing that he wanted to change or add. He also agreed that the attached draft press statement accurately reflected his position and that he would stand by it if questioned. I gave him a copy and said that we would try to give him advance warning of any announcement but circumstances might make this impossible. (I re-confirmed this understanding on the telephone this morning, when agreeing that he could complete his training at RAF Honington today).
4. I also attach a slightly updated version of my comparative analysis which reflects clarifications to some of the detail as a result of the second interview with Kelly. I have also tidied up serials 2 and 3, where my original comment was slightly misleading. Kelly first remembers speaking to Gilligan at the IISS seminar in September 2002 in a coffee break but his two arranged meetings with Gilligan were both this year, in February and May, before and after Gilligan's trip to Iraq. On reflection, the discrepancy with Gilligan's evidence to the FAC that he had not seen his contact face to face for 'about a year' is even greater. If the contact is Kelly this would mean that Gilligan was overlooking the meeting this February, as well as referring to a meeting which appears to have taken place in May 2002 before Kelly had met him.
65. The draft press statement attached to Mr Hatfield's letter of 8 July was as follows:
An individual working in the MOD has volunteered that he met with Andrew Gilligan on 22 May to discuss Gilligan's experiences as a correspondent in Iraq. This was one week before Gilligan's story claiming that the September 2002 Iraq dossier had been "sexed up". The account of the meeting given by this official does not match the account given by Gilligan to the Foreign Affairs Committee of his "single source". The official has told up that he made no allegations or accusations about the dossier and, in particular, did not suggest that any material had been added to the dossier by Alastair Campbell or Downing Street against the wishes of the intelligence community. He is not a member of the Intelligence Services or the Defence Intelligence Staff.
This discussion was not authorised in accordance with departmental guidance for contact with the media. This is being dealt with appropriately by line management.
There is no reason to suspect that a breach of security is involved.
66. Dr Wells made the following note of the meeting:
NOTES OF A MEETING ON DAVID KELLY'S MEETING WITH ANDREW GILLIGAN - 7 JULY
Mr Martin Howard, DCDI
Mr Richard Hatfield, Personnel Director
Dr Bryan Wells, DCPAC
Dr David Kelly, CPAC Special Adviser
1. Hatfield started by saying that he wanted the meeting to cover two issues. The first was to follow up the discrepancies between Gilligan's account of the meeting with his source, and Kelly's account of his meeting with Gilligan. The second issue was that MOD may wish to make a public statement, and he wished to discuss that with Kelly. The meeting was structured to follow Hatfield's comparative analysis circulated under his minute of 8 July to PS/PUS.
2. Serials 2 and 3. Hatfield said that Kelly had described the IISS Seminar in September 2002 as being the first time that he had consciously met Gilligan. Hatfield probed whether Kelly had indeed never met Gilligan before. Kelly replied that he could not recall having spoken to Gilligan before then. They certainly had not had a meeting or a purposeful discussion. Hatfield probed further; surely Kelly could not have forgotten such a meeting. Kelly replied that he could not recall one.
3. Hatfield then asked about the meeting between Kelly and Gilligan in February 2003. Kelly replied that the meeting was held at the Charing Cross Hotel and lasted for 45 minutes to 1 hour. It had taken place at Gilligan's suggestion. He could not recall having had any further contact until May.
4. Howard asked whether Kelly talked to journalists a lot. Kelly replied that he would have people contact him 3-4 times a week. Many of the calls were quite simply asking technical details. Howard commented that a non-technical discussion with Gilligan would therefore have stuck out.
5. Serials 4 and 5. Hatfield asked Kelly to describe in detail his involvement in the government's dossier of September 2002. Kelly said that to his recollection the idea of a dossier arose in April 2002. He had drafted his contributions (described in his letter of 30 June) during May and June 2002. He then recalled that the subject went into limbo. He was on leave for two weeks in August and then on duty in New York and consequently was not involved in any work during that month. His only subsequent involvement was when he was asked by DIS (in September) to look at the passages on biological weapons and consider whether anything extra could be added. He had suggested including a discussion of Smallpox, but that was subsequently rejected on the grounds of there being inadequate intelligence. That was the sum of his involvement. Howard asked if he had [been] contacted in order to check textual amendments. Kelly replied that he had not. Howard also asked if Kelly had discussed the dossier with DIS staff. Kelly replied that he could not recall any in depth discussion. He recalled that there had not in any case been much discussion of the dossier at the time. He reminded the meeting that he had never acknowledged outside Government that he had contributed to the dossier.
6. Serial 6. Hatfield asked how Kelly described himself to Gilligan. Kelly replied that he assumed Gilligan would know that he was a senior adviser to DPACS/DCPAC. People had all sorts of ideas about his role; he continued to have a high profile on UNSCOM/UNMOVIC work; and a number of people believe that he was an intelligence officer. Hatfield asked if Gilligan thought that he was part of the intelligence agencies. Kelly replied that he could not exclude that possibility although he would not describe himself as such and would not have encouraged Gilligan to think it.
7. Serial 10. Howard asked if Gilligan had taken notes of the meeting. Kelly replied that Gilligan had produced a small notebook and pencil and had taken some notes but these were not copious.
8. Serial 8. Hatfield recalled that Kelly had been clear that the May meeting with Gilligan lasted 45 minutes. He asked the basis for this. Kelly replied that the meeting had been fixed for 17.00 hours. He clearly recalled Gilligan turning up at 17.15. He believed that he left at about 18.00 to catch the 18.30 Paddington train.
9. Serial 11. Hatfield referred to the quotation from Gilligan's source that the dossier was "transformed the week before it was published to make it sexier". He asked Kelly if he had said this or something similar. Kelly said that he had not described the dossier as having been transformed the week before publication, and could not recall using the term "sexier". Hatfield probed: had Kelly said anything that could be construed as being that quotation? Kelly said that he could not recall; his memory was that discussion of the dossier was fleeting. Hatfield commented that the flavour of Gilligan's evidence to the FAC was that the meeting concentrated on the dossier: that was why the differing accounts of the meeting's length were important: a longer meeting would have allowed more discussion of the issues. Howard referred to the passage in Kelly's letter of 30 June where he said that the "45 minutes claim" was included in the dossier for "impact". Was this the exact word used or was it a paraphrase? Kelly replied that he would use that word on occasion, but could not recall if he had said it to Gilligan. But he would not use the phrase to imply criticism: he meant it in the sense that the claim was in the forward (sic) signed by the Prime Minister, rather than simply in the body of the text. It therefore had "impact" in that sense.
10. Serial 13. Howard asked if Kelly had seen the intelligence report relating to the "45 minutes claim". Kelly replied that he had not. Howard asked if Kelly was aware that there was intelligence on the subject. Kelly replied that he was not, until the issue was in the public domain. Hatfield referred to the quote from Gilligan's source which said that "WMD were ready for use in 45 minutes not in original draft included against their wishes because it wasn't reliable". Did Kelly say this? Kelly replied that he could not believe that he would have said this: he did not say that it was not in the original draft; and he didn't know the wishes of the intelligence services. Hatfield asked what question Gilligan was asking Kelly to respond to when the "45 minute claim" came up. Kelly replied that they were discussing why WMD had not been used during the conflict. He had explained his own view which was that weather conditions had prevented use early in the campaign, and breakdown of C2 had prevented its use in the later commented (sic) that this was different from Gilligan's description to the FAC. Kelly continued that he wondered now if he had been led on by Gilligan. His stock answer on the "45 minutes claim" that was in the early 90s, Iraq had a policy to fill to use. But this still required transportation of the stored armaments to launch sites for their use. All this was time-consuming. He therefore could not relate the claim to anything he knew of. But he recognised that he was not familiar with all the systems.
11. Serial 14. Hatfield asked Kelly about his discussions on uranium imports from Niger. Kelly said that so far as he could recall it was not discussed in depth. He would not have said anything other than to note the IAEA observations on the issue.
12. Serial 16. Hatfield asked if Kelly had discussed with Gilligan the role of Alastair Campbell in the dossier. Kelly replied that, as he had said in his letter of 30 June, Gilligan did raise the involvement of Campbell and Kelly said that he was unable to comment. Hatfield asked in what context the role of Alastair Campbell had been raised. Kelly replied that it was in the context of the editing process of the dossier. Hatfield asked what Kelly meant by being "unable to comment". Kelly replied that it would have been a dismissive response. Hatfield asked specifically if Kelly had himself referred to "Campbell". Kelly replied that he had not.
13. Serial 17. Hatfield asked if Kelly had said that Downing Street "had asked repeatedly if anything could be added to the original draft". Kelly replied that he had not.
14. Serial 18. Hatfield asked if there had been any discussion of the Iraqi source for the "45 minutes claim". Kelly replied that he had no idea who the source was and did not speculate on that source with Gilligan. Hatfield asked Kelly if he had told Gilligan that Iraq had not been able to weaponise CBW. Kelly replied that he had not said this and he believed otherwise.
15. Serial 24. Hatfield asked Kelly if he would have said whether (sic) that there was a 30% probability of there being a CW programme in the six months before the war. Kelly replied that 30% was the sort of figure he would use as the probability for there having been a current production programme. He was 100% certain that there had been a chemical weapon programme.
16. Serial 25. Hatfield asked if Kelly had said or believed that the Iraqi WMD threat was smaller and less imminent than that claimed by the government. Kelly replied that he believed the threat was both current and specific.
17. Howard asked if Kelly was aware of anyone else who could have been a source for Gilligan. Kelly replied that he was not aware of any sources. He was aware that some points of his description of the meeting with Gilligan matched those of Gilligan's description of his meeting with the source. Kelly said that he was concerned that Gilligan would try to hang the other stories on to him.
18. Howard asked if anybody from the BBC, and in particular Gilligan, had tried to contact Kelly since the meeting on May 22. Kelly replied that Gilligan had not tried to contact him. The only BBC person he could recall having contacted him was Susan Watts, a science editor.
19. Hatfield said that it was likely that the department would need to make some public statement on Kelly's involvement with Gilligan. He passed Kelly a draft press release and Kelly confirmed that he was content with its terms. Hatfield said that although Kelly was not named in the press release his identity may become known in due course. Kelly replied that he acknowledged this: in his letter of 30 June he had said that a friend at RUSI had alerted him to the possibility of his being considered as Gilligan's source.
67. On 8 July Mr Hoon had a lunchtime meeting with Mr Richard Sambrook, the Director of News at the BBC, to discuss the MoD's concern that Mr Gilligan had not forewarned it of the WMD allegations which he broadcast on 29 May.
68. At a meeting in 10 Downing Street on Tuesday 8 July commencing at 1.30pm it was learnt that Mrs Ann Taylor MP, the Chairman of the ISC did not want to receive a letter informing her that the civil servant had come forward (see Mr Scarlett's note set out in paragraph 61). It was then decided to issue a press statement that a civil servant working in the MoD had come forward to say that he had met Mr Gilligan on 22 May.A group of officials comprising Sir Kevin Tebbit, Mr John Scarlett, Mr Jonathan Powell, Mr Alastair Campbell and Mr Tom Kelly then began to draft the statement in 10 Downing Street.
69. During the first part of the afternoon of 8 July Dr Kelly was at RAF Honington and just after 3.30pm Mr Hatfield was telephoned by Mr Wilson, the Private Secretary to Sir Kevin Tebbit, who told him that it was expected that the MoD would need to make a statement about Dr Kelly that evening and that he (Mr Hatfield) was going to be asked to clear the text with Dr Kelly when it was available. At that point the text had not been sent to Mr Hatfield but Mr Wilson read the text over to him. Mr Hatfield then rang Dr Kelly hoping to speak to him before he left RAF Honington but he got Dr Kelly's mobile telephone voicemail and left him a message saying that he wanted to talk to him as soon as possible about the possible release of a statement and about the text of that statement. Dr Kelly called Mr Hatfield back at 4.14pm and Mr Hatfield repeated the message which he had previously left on his voicemail. Mr Hatfield also told Dr Kelly that the statement was likely to be slightly longer than the one which they had discussed on the previous day because the text was going to say a little more about what Dr Kelly had told the MoD officials he had said to Mr Gilligan. Mr Hatfield still did not have the text of the statement which was to be issued and he said to Dr Kelly that they would need to talk again in half an hour or so. Soon after that telephone conversation Mr Hatfield received the text of the press statement. Mr Hatfield telephoned Dr Kelly again at 5.10pm and read through the statement to him paragraph by paragraph and when Mr Hatfield had finished reading the text Dr Kelly said that he was content with it. Mr Hatfield told Dr Kelly that the statement would be issued very soon and that he was certain it would be out by 7.00pm. Mr Hatfield also told him in that conversation or in the earlier telephone conversation at 4.14pm that he should talk to the press office and to Dr Wells about support.
70. The press statement was issued by the MoD about 5.45pm on Tuesday 8 July in the following terms:
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.
The person who has come forward has volunteered that he has known Mr Gilligan for some months. He says that he met Mr Gilligan in a central London hotel at Mr Gilligan's request. During the conversation Mr Gilligan raised the Iraqi WMD programme, including the "45 minutes" issue. The official says that Mr Gilligan also raised the issue of Alastair Campbell.
The individual is an expert on WMD who has advised ministers on WMD and whose contribution to the Dossier of September 2002 was to contribute towards drafts of historical accounts of UN inspections. He is not "one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up the dossier". He is not a member of the Intelligence Services or the Defence Intelligence Staff.
He says that when Mr Gilligan asked about the role of Alastair Campbell with regard to the 45 minute issue, he made no comment and explained that he was not involved in the process of drawing up the intelligence parts of the Dossier.
He says he made no other comment about Mr Campbell. When Mr Gilligan asked him why the 45 minute point was in the Dossier, he says he commented that it was "probably for impact". He says he did not see the 45 minute intelligence report on which it was based.
He has said that, as an expert in the field, he believes Saddam Hussein possessed WMD.
We do not know whether this official is the single source quoted by Mr Gilligan. Mr Gilligan told the FAC he had only one source for his story, and that the other three sources he mentioned to the FAC did not talk to him about the September Dossier, or did so after the broadcast.
The MOD, with the individual's agreement, intend to give his name to the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, in confidence, should they wish to interview him as part of their inquiry.
71. On the evening of Tuesday 8 July, after the press statement had been issued, Ms Pamela Teare, the Director of News in the MoD, and Mrs Kate Wilson, the chief press officer in the MoD, had a discussion and agreed that the latter should telephone Dr Kelly to alert him to the high level of media interest in the statement and to advise him that he might want to consider staying with friends. Accordingly, Mrs Wilson telephoned Dr Kelly on his mobile. She called him at 8.26pm when he said he was out walking and asked her to call him back. She then called Dr Kelly back about twenty minutes later and told him that the statement had been put out. She wanted to make sure that he had her contact numbers but he said that he did not have anything to write with and so he could not take her numbers down. Mrs Wilson then asked him if he had the number for the duty press officer and he said he did. Mrs Wilson told him that the MoD press office had had a lot of follow up questions and that he needed to think about alternative accommodation. She did not offer him accommodation because her view was that it was better to go and stay with family or friends than to go to a hotel, and that is what she recommended to him. She asked him if there was anything he wanted from her and he said there was not. Mrs Wilson said in evidence that it was a brief conversation. When asked how Dr Kelly sounded at the time she replied that he was not surprised by anything she said and he seemed very calm.
72. On 8 July Mr Hoon wrote to Mr Gavyn Davies, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the BBC, enclosing the MoD's statement and saying:
I am writing to draw to your attention an MOD statement which we shall be issuing later today about Andrew Gilligan's 'single source'. This is enclosed.
You will see that we have not named the official within the MOD who has come forward. We would, however, be prepared to disclose his name to you in confidence, on the basis that you would then immediately confirm or deny that this is indeed Mr Gilligan's source, in the interests of resolving what has become a management problem for both our organisations.
I am sure you will understand that this is not the same as divulging a source since the individual has come forward.
73. Mr Gavyn Davies replied to Mr Hoon on the 8 July and stated:
Thank you for today's letter, which I believe you have now released to the press.
I have to say that the offer in your letter seems to be an attempt to force the BBC News Division to reveal the name or names of the source(s) used by Andrew Gilligan on Today and Susan Watts on Newsnight. You will recognise that it is a cardinal principle of good journalism that sources should never be revealed, no matter how intense the pressure may be. As Chairman of the BBC, I support this principle.
In line with this principle, I do not myself know the identity [of] the source(s) mentioned above, so I am unable to accept your offer of confirming whether their name(s) match the person who has come forward at the Ministry of Defence.
I will be releasing this letter to the press.
74. On the evening of 8 July the BBC issued a press statement:
We note that today, the Ministry of Defence has issued a statement saying that an individual working in the Ministry of Defence has come forward to volunteer information about an unauthorised meeting he says he had with Andrew Gilligan on May 22.
The description of the individual contained in the statement does not match Mr Gilligan's source in some important ways.
Mr Gilligan's source does not work in the Ministry of Defence and he has known the source for a number of years not months.
As we have said before, Mr Gilligan met several people in the period before the story was broadcast and discussed Weapons of Mass Destruction in various ways with a number of them.
His Today programme story was based on only one of those conversations.
For the single conversation which led to the Today story, Mr Gilligan took comprehensive notes during the meeting with his source which do not correspond with the account given in the MoD statement.
These notes have already been deposited with the BBC legal department.
We note that the MoD statement says that "we do not know whether this official is Mr Gilligan's source".
Neither do we.
What we do know is that Mr Gilligan's notes and account of what he was told are very similar to the notes of a conversation Susan Watts, Science Editor of Newsnight, had with her source which led to the Newsnight reports of June 2 and 4.
These reports contained allegations consistent with the Gilligan report and she described her source as "a senior official intimately involved with [the] process of pulling together the September dossier".
We reiterate the point we made last week that Susan Watts and Andrew Gilligan have never met, spoken or corresponded about any issues let alone this particular matter.
We do not know whether their respective sources are the same person, as Susan Watts and George Entwhistle, the Editor of Newsnight, are unwilling to reveal her source.
However, if it is the same source, it is quite clear that the information he is now giving to the Ministry of Defence is not a full and frank account of the conversation with Mr Gilligan and that he has failed to mention the conversation with Susan Watts.
If it is a different source, it means that the original Gilligan story was separately corroborated by a second source - the person who spoke to Susan Watts.
Either way, we stand by Mr Gilligan's reporting of his source.
75. On 9 July Mr Hoon wrote to Mr Davies and stated:
Thank you for your letter of 8 July replying to mine of the same day.
This is not about the divulging of sources.
So that you can establish whether the name of the person who has come forward is the same as the name given to BBC Management by Andrew Gilligan, I am now prepared to tell you that his name is David Kelly, advisor to the Proliferation and Arms Control Secretariat in the MOD.
I trust that the BBC Internal Inquiry into Mr Gilligan's dealings with the MOD Press Office will be broadened to include this matter.
Mr Davies' office was informed by the MoD that it would not be releasing this letter to the press.
76. On 10 July Mr Davies replied to Mr Hoon stating:
Thank you for your letter of 9th July. I have discussed the matter with Greg Dyke as Editor-in-Chief. Although I did not originally show him the name contained in your letter, I am sure he will have now seen the name in most of this morning's newspapers.
The BBC will not be making any more comments about, or responding to any claims concerning, the identity of Andrew Gilligan's source for his story on the Today programme on May 29, or the identity of Susan Watts' source for her story on Newsnight on 2nd June.
77. On the afternoon of Friday 4 July Ms Pamela Teare, the Director of News in the MoD and Mrs Wilson, the Chief Press Officer in the MoD, prepared contingent briefings which might be used by MoD press officers in the form of Questions and Answers in case the press became aware in some way over the weekend that a civil servant had come forward to say that he had met Mr Gilligan on 22 May. In the course of the next few days until Tuesday 8 July these Questions and Answers were revised by Ms Teare and Mrs Wilson a number of times but they were not given to senior officials for their approval. On 8 July Ms Teare and Mr Martin Howard did further work on the Q and A material and after the decision had been taken to issue a press statement that an unnamed civil servant had come forward it was decided by the MoD that if the press put the correct name, ie Dr Kelly's name, to a government press officer the press officer would confirm it. The first draft of the Question and Answer material contained the following sentences:
Who is the official?
We are not prepared to name the individual involved.
We have released all the relevant details. There is nothing to gain by revealing the name of the individual who has come forward voluntarily.
The final form of the Question and Answer material contained the following sentence:
If the correct name is given, we can confirm it and say that he is senior advisor to the Proliferation and Arms Control Secretariat.
The different drafts of the Question and Answer material are set out in appendix 5.
78. After the MoD had issued the press statement in the late afternoon of 8 July the MoD press office was inundated with calls seeking more information but no member of the press suggested Dr Kelly's name.
79. On Wednesday 9 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 the media seeking more information and trying to identify the civil servant. Press officers in the MoD used the Question and Answer material which had been given to them and did not volunteer Dr Kelly's name. In the late afternoon, about 5.30pm, the Financial Times put Dr Kelly's name to Ms Teare who confirmed it. 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 Times put twenty names until Dr Kelly's name was put and confirmed.
80. About 6.00pm on 9 July Mrs Wilson heard that Dr Kelly's name had been confirmed to the press. She then telephoned Sir Kevin Tebbit's office about 6.15pm and requested his Private Secretary, Mr Wilson, to ask Dr Wells to ring Dr Kelly to tell him that his name had been confirmed to the press. It appears that Mr Wilson tried to contact Dr Wells by telephone for about half an hour and finally got in touch with him about 7.00pm when Dr Wells was on a train travelling home. Mr Wilson passed on to him the message from Mrs Wilson requesting him to tell Dr Kelly that the press office had confirmed his name to the press. Dr Wells then rang Dr Kelly at 7.03pm 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 and Dr Wells advised him to get in touch with the press office. This call lasted for 46 seconds, it was a bad line and Dr Wells thought that they were cut off. Dr Kelly rang Dr Wells back at 7.09pm when Dr Wells was still on his train. Dr Wells thought that Dr Kelly had called him back because the earlier telephone call had been cut off and he repeated to Dr Kelly that the press office had confirmed his name.
81. In the late afternoon of 9 July Mr Nicholas Rufford, a reporter from the Sunday Times, who had met Dr Kelly at his home on previous occasions to discuss his work, 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 the garden. The first words which Dr Kelly spoke to him were 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 and offered to provide him with hotel accommodation on behalf of his newspaper. Mr Rufford had some further conversation with Dr Kelly and left his garden about 7.45pm.
82. At 7.54pm when Dr Wells had got off his train and when communication was clearer between the two of them, Dr Wells called Dr Kelly again on his mobile telephone to check that he had got his earlier message and that he was acting on it and Dr Kelly told him that Nick Rufford had appeared on his doorstep.
83. After having spoken to Mr Wilson about 6.30pm, Mrs Wilson took steps to arrange that a press officer would be ready to go to Dr Kelly's house if Dr Kelly wanted him. She was about to telephone Dr Kelly about 8.00pm when Dr Kelly telephoned her and said that Nick Rufford had been in contact with him and asked him why he was not now in a hotel. Dr Kelly told Mrs Wilson that he was now minded to go to family or friends and he would be heading to the West Country, but he would let her know where he was when he got there.
84. Dr Kelly and his wife then packed some clothes very quickly and left their house in a rush within ten minutes. They drove towards Weston-Super-Mare and on the way they stopped just outside Swindon about 8.45pm and Dr Kelly telephoned Dr Wells and told him that he was travelling to Cornwall. Dr and Mrs Kelly spent the night of 9 July in Weston-Super-Mare. On the morning of Thursday 10 July Dr Kelly telephoned Dr Wells and they agreed to keep in touch.