1 A. I do not. I should say, to the best of my knowledge the
2 Internet terminal that David would have used to send
3 e-mails into my office has been in the possession of the
4 Thames Valley Police. Whether there is anything on that
5 that would be relevant, I cannot say at this stage.
6 I do not have access to it.
7 MR DINGEMANS: Thank you very much.
8 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much indeed Dr Wells. This is
9 a convenient time to rise. 2 o'clock.
10 (1.03 pm)
11 (The short adjournment)
12 (2.00 pm)
13 LORD HUTTON: Yes Mr Knox.
14 MR KNOX: My Lord, the next witness is Mr Lamb.
15 MR PATRICK LAMB (called)
16 Examined by MR KNOX
17 MR KNOX: Mr Lamb, thank you for coming back for some
18 further evidence. I want to ask you some further
19 questions about the events after the dossier was put
20 together on 24th September 2002. We have heard from
21 Ms Watts that she met Dr Kelly and you at a Foreign
22 Office open day on 5th November 2002, at which Dr Kelly
23 made a presentation. She said you had invited her
24 along. Do you recall this?
25 A. Yes, I do. There was a reception, I think, on the
1 evening of 4th November prior to the open day. It was
2 an open day that was intended to be an opportunity for
3 the international security command of the Foreign Office
4 to show exactly the extent of its activities and so on.
5 I do not know, frankly, whether she was able to attend
6 that evening but certainly she was present on the 5th
7 because she knew that David Kelly would be speaking.
8 They had not actually met face to face until that
9 occasion. I recall the occasion when they did meet.
10 She said "David I presume", or something along those
11 lines, so that was the first occasion they met face to
13 Q. We know from a diary entry of Dr Kelly's on
14 14th January 2003 that he had specifically marked in
15 a meeting with you. The reference is at TVP/3/132.
16 Mr Lamb I was just curious about this, because
17 I want to know why, if you could possibly help, Dr Kelly
18 would specifically have marked in a meeting with you on
19 14th January 2003. Do you recall if there was anything
20 in particular that you had to met Dr Kelly for?
21 A. I do not now, sir, recall if there was anything
22 specific. Dr Kelly came into the Foreign Office fairly
23 frequently, at irregular intervals, often dictated by
24 his imminent trips perhaps to New York, which was where
25 he was our technical adviser to our UNMOVIC
1 commissioner. He would come in because there was other
2 administrative business that we, as the Foreign Office,
3 were dealing with for him. But I cannot now recall and
4 I would need to look at my own diary to check what took
5 place on 14th January.
6 Q. Now we know that on 13th April 2003 an article appeared
7 in the Sunday Times in which Dr Kelly was named as
8 saying that a recently captured general, General
9 al-Saadi knew where all the weapons were buried --
10 A. I think the words were he knew "where all the bodies
11 were buried".
12 Q. Sorry, I apologise. That appeared on 13th April 2003
13 and Dr Kelly's name is specifically mentioned in that
14 article. Did you read that article at the time?
15 A. In actual fact, I only read it subsequent to Dr Kelly's
16 death. I was unaware of it on the morning of the 13th
17 and, as I think I said in my witness statement, I was
18 contacted by the duty press officer at the Foreign
19 Office who informed me that there were requests to speak
20 to Dr Kelly flowing from that article; and the duty
21 press officer quoted to me the words of the article and
22 we reached a decision in conjunction with Dr Kelly as to
23 how we would handle those requests.
24 Q. When you say "requests", that would be requests from
25 news organisations asking to talk to Dr Kelly?
1 A. That was one very specific request which the duty press
2 officer put to me that came from, as I recall, ABC News.
3 I spoke to Dr Kelly at his home in the course of that
4 morning. As I recall, Dr Kelly had had a separate
5 enquiry from another news outlet, I do not recall which,
6 so it was obvious there was an understandable media
7 interest provoked by such a comment.
8 Q. Were you concerned that Dr Kelly's name had been
9 mentioned in the Sunday Times article?
10 A. I was concerned, yes, sir, because of the reference to
11 where the bodies are buried. At the time, with the
12 conflict just coming to an end, and obviously issues
13 concerning weapons of mass destruction, the discovery of
14 weapons of mass destruction, coming very much to the
15 fore and being very much a priority amongst the news
16 media, it was very important that that be properly and
17 carefully handed.
18 My other concern, I think, and actually my primary
19 concern, was that a comment from a British official with
20 respect to a senior Iraqi official could be prejudicial
21 in the event of subsequent war crimes trials and so on.
22 I did not really want to promote or allow any further
23 speculation as to what Dr al Sal knew or did not know.
24 Q. Was Dr Kelly speaking to the press unauthorised on this
1 A. It was unauthorised, sir, yes.
2 Q. Did you mention anything to Dr Kelly about this being an
3 unauthorised contact which should not be repeated?
4 A. I did not specifically make that comment to him, as
5 I recall. We dealt with the matter on the Sunday and
6 effectively the issue was over and, as I think I recall,
7 we decided that he should refer any further enquiries to
8 the FCO press office and that the press office would say
9 that he was unavailable for any further comment. He was
10 greatly relieved by that obviously because it took
11 a great deal of pressure off him.
12 When he came in to see me very shortly thereafter,
13 and it may have been the following Monday but I do not
14 now recall, I asked him many more questions about the
15 circumstances. I obviously also briefed my colleagues
16 in the press office about what had taken place.
17 Dr Kelly said he had given a background briefing to the
18 journalist in question. As I said in my statement, he
19 was annoyed and surprised that journalists had actually
20 quoted him.
21 Q. I think the fact is, though, he should not have given
22 the background briefing in the first place; is that
24 A. He should properly have informed me or informed the
25 press office and sought approval for giving such
1 a background briefing. That would have been the normal
2 and standard procedure.
3 LORD HUTTON: Can I just ask you: would you have regarded as
4 being proper that Dr Kelly would have given a background
5 briefing and then informed you after he had given it,
6 that meeting? It would depend, would it, on just how
7 detailed it was and whether it was on some subject on
8 which he had already spoken with permission?
9 A. In theory and properly he should have approached the
10 press office about each and every request.
11 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
12 A. In practice, as I think we all know, once a journalist
13 has a number they will tend to pursue that person or
14 ring that number without -- off the cuff. Dr Kelly
15 worked from home, to a very large extent; and so that
16 meant that often, I presume, he would receive calls at
17 home having exchanged a card with a journalist. And
18 certainly there were instances where, for reasons
19 I perfectly understand, he had no opportunity to seek
20 prior authorisation or clearance. But in my experience
21 he was also very scrupulous about informing us after the
22 event. That in itself was helpful, very helpful in the
23 event that something arose following that particular
24 interview --
25 MR KNOX: Would it be right to say when he did tell you
1 after the event there was never any problem?
2 A. I recall no problems in the period that I handled those
3 enquiries from about 2000 when I took over specific
4 responsibility in the department and therefore had many
5 more dealings with him until this year, quite literally.
6 Q. In about the April 2003 was there any change in
7 Dr Kelly's working pattern, that is to say as between
8 the time he spent at the Foreign Office and at the
9 Ministry of Defence?
10 A. There was at least the beginnings of a change because at
11 that time there were the initial preparations for what
12 has now become known as the Iraq Survey Group. That is
13 a group of UK, US and Australian experts who are
14 involved in conducting very extensive research and work
15 in Iraq into weapons of mass destruction. And that was
16 a then nascent organisation and it was evident to us and
17 to the Ministry of Defence that Dr Kelly was going to
18 play and would play a major role in such an
19 organisation. I believe he made one trip to Kuwait and
20 he was certainly in Iraq in June, so he began to move
21 towards greater involvement with the Iraq Survey Group,
22 and the Ministry of Defence has the policy lead for the
23 Iraq Survey Group.
24 Also, whereas previously the Foreign Office would
25 approve and meet all his travel costs, and we continued
1 to do so for his work as a technical adviser to UNMOVIC,
2 the Ministry of Defence met the costs for travel that
3 was related to his actual work in Iraq.
4 Q. Did that mean from about this time he began to have less
5 contact with you and others at the Foreign Office?
6 A. I think I began to see less of him certainly, yes.
7 Q. Would you be able to give us roughly an idea of how
8 often you would see Dr Kelly before April 2003?
9 A. I suppose I would see him once every two weeks
10 certainly, perhaps more frequently than that.
11 Q. Would this be on social occasions or just at work?
12 A. No, it would be at work. He would primarily come in to
13 meet with my colleagues in the UNMOVIC section of the
14 Counter Proliferation Department. Then he would usually
15 inform me when was in London and we would arrange
16 informally to meet in my office. And once he had
17 conducted whatever business he had that was specific to
18 the UNMOVIC section, he would come round for
19 a discussion with me on a variety of issues, both
20 UNMOVIC related but as I think I have said also wider
21 issues relating to biological weapons.
22 Q. We know that on 29th May 2003 three broadcasts were made
23 by Mr Gilligan in the early morning which said, in
24 essence, that Downing Street had ordered the dossier
25 of September to be "sexed up" in the week before
1 publication. We know on 2nd and 4th June further
2 reports appeared about the dossier and about unease in
3 the Intelligence Services on Newsnight in reports by
4 Susan Watts.
5 Presumably, you were aware of the reports by
6 Mr Gilligan on or shortly after 29th May; is that right?
7 A. That would be correct. It is my regular morning fare.
8 Q. So you would have become aware in fact on the morning of
9 the 29th May about Mr Gilligan's reports?
10 A. Yes, indeed.
11 Q. And indeed about the rumpus they caused?
12 A. Obviously I became aware that the matter was serious.
13 I was unaware of the correspondence which I believe had
14 ensued around that time between Mr Campbell and the BBC.
15 I was completely unaware of that. But I clearly heard
16 the story and considered it, I have to say, to be
17 inaccurate from the information and knowledge that I had
18 of the drafting process.
19 Q. What about the Susan Watts reports on Newsnight, did you
20 see those?
21 A. I did not see those contemporaneously. I have obviously
22 seen extracts from them subsequently. And I have seen
23 extracts of the quotations, excuse me, from Susan Watts'
24 source and I have also read elements of her evidence of
25 transcript in front of this Tribunal.
1 Q. When did you first become aware of the fact that
2 Susan Watts had made reports on 2nd and 4th June?
3 A. I honestly could not give you a date for that, I am
5 Q. It would not have been shortly after those dates?
6 A. (Pause). I do not recall anybody talking to me about it
7 or mentioning it to me. Therefore I am afraid I really
8 cannot be more precise than that.
9 Q. Did Dr Kelly say anything to you around this time, this
10 is late May or early June, about having had contact with
11 either Mr Gilligan or Ms Watts?
12 A. My recollection is that on one meeting to my office,
13 which I believe must have been around late May, he
14 mentioned -- it was an occasion -- as I think I have
15 said, normally when Dr Kelly came in I would be aware he
16 was due to visit, if only from a phone call a half hour
17 or couple of hours beforehand, and I would make time to
18 sit down with him and discuss things on a fairly
19 informal basis, we would sit at the table and discuss
20 them. On this occasion I recall I was extremely busy.
21 I cannot now recall what I was busy about but I was
22 extremely busy.
23 I can remember David standing at the end of my
24 office and he was talking to me. I can remember nothing
25 of what he said. As I said, I cannot even remember why
1 I was busy on that occasion. What I do recall and did
2 recall was that he said to me that he had spoken to
3 Andrew Gilligan and Susan Watts. That remained in my
4 memory and I consciously remember thinking that I had
5 not been approached by him or asked by him to agree to
6 any meeting with either Mr Gilligan or Ms Watts. And
7 that -- it was the only part of our conversation that
8 remained in my mind. But at that time I was unaware of
9 Mr Gilligan's piece on the Today Programme. That is why
10 I think it must be before the Today Programme story
12 Q. That would seem to make sense. You cannot recall at
13 all, even faintly, what he said about his contact with
14 Mr Gilligan?
15 A. He said nothing. He merely reported that he had been
16 speaking to Mr Gilligan and Ms Watts.
17 Q. Can I put it this way: did he say something that you
18 cannot recall or is it simply the case he said: I have
19 spoken to Gilligan and Watts recently?
20 A. He simply said, "I have spoken to Gilligan and Watts".
21 Q. He gave you no idea what he had said to them?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did you do anything about this when you found out he had
24 spoken to Mr Gilligan and Ms Watts?
25 A. Immediately, no, firstly because everything I had heard
1 about the piece from Mr Gilligan was that it was from an
2 intelligence source and therefore I discounted David as
3 being the source of that particular story. As I say,
4 I did not, unfortunately, see Ms Watts' piece when it
5 was transmitted, therefore that was not something that
6 was present in my mind at all. But as the month of June
7 went on -- clearly, I was aware that the person who had
8 spoken to Mr Gilligan had, in my judgment, a partial
9 view of the preparation of the dossier that went up to,
10 as I saw it, August/September but someone who did not
11 have a comprehensive view of what had taken place
12 in September. Therefore, that enabled me to not
13 identify an individual but identify someone who would
14 have had involvement up until that time, but not beyond.
15 Q. I do not want to press you too much on this, Mr Lamb,
16 but it must have seemed a bit of a coincidence that
17 Dr Kelly says to you some time around late May that he
18 has been speaking to Gilligan, and lo and behold on
19 29th May you have articles by Gilligan which talk about
20 the dossier and say, amongst other things, that the
21 45 minutes claim was single sourced, which must have
22 indicated a degree of good information on the part of
23 Mr Gilligan. Did it not even cross your mind Dr Kelly
24 might indeed have been, at least in part, responsible
25 for that story coming out through Mr Gilligan?
1 A. It may have crossed my mind, sir. I honestly cannot
2 recall. I can describe more and I think more closely
3 when I did begin to develop such a concern. Dr Kelly
4 was a colleague but he was also a friend; and I think
5 that to some extent one's views are -- one's
6 professional judgment is clouded by or can be clouded by
7 friendship, and I would say that I almost did not want
8 to believe it.
9 The reason I came to suspect and believe that it
10 might be David was because of a subsequent story that
11 appeared, I think in The Observer on 15th June,
12 concerning discovery of alleged BW, biological weapon
13 trailers in Iraq. I had a conversation with some
14 colleagues in the Ministry of Defence following the --
15 informal conversation following the emergence of that
16 story, and it was clear that there were only four UK
17 experts who had examined those trailers at that
18 particular time, and that therefore there was a growing
19 suspicion that -- and Dr Kelly -- of whom one was
20 Dr Kelly. And there was a suspicion growing that
21 Dr Kelly was possibly the source of that particular
23 At that point, it began to gel in my mind that he
24 might therefore also be the source of the Gilligan and
25 Watts pieces. And that is the time when the two, if you
1 like, came together.
2 Q. Can I take it from your last answer that certainly by
3 mid June you had become aware of the Watts piece?
4 A. (Pause). I am afraid I cannot really answer. I wish
5 I could, because I know Ms Watts' work and it is of an
6 excellent quality and I greatly regret having missed
7 this particular piece, but I honestly cannot recall
8 that. I think the focus was very much on Mr Gilligan's
9 piece because it was that that was very much the source
10 and origin of the story that began to run.
11 Q. After the 15th June, after The Observer article, did you
12 speak to anyone in an official position about what
13 Dr Kelly had told you "speaking to Gilligan".
14 A. At a meeting and informal reception on 17th June there
15 was a meeting involving myself some, senior colleagues
16 in the DIS and FCO and, in particular, Mr Howard. And
17 in the context of that discussion, as we were
18 discussing, as I recall, primarily the trailer issue,
19 I said that I believed that David Kelly had spoken to
20 Mr Gilligan and Ms Watts, that he had told me some time
21 earlier that he had spoken to Gilligan and Watts, and
22 I conveyed that information to Mr Howard on that
24 Q. Did Mr Howard say anything to you in response?
25 A. I do not recall. I think that he simply nodded and
1 a pattern -- as I said, I think a pattern had begun to
2 build for me and I think that pattern had begun to build
3 possibly for Mr Howard, but Mr Howard will obviously be
4 able to answer that better than I can.
5 Q. Did you have any further communications with anyone in
6 the Civil Service about Dr Kelly's admission that he had
7 spoken to Mr Gilligan?
8 A. No, I do not think I did.
9 Q. No-one came back to you asking you for further
10 information about this?
11 A. No.
12 Q. We know that Dr Kelly was interviewed on 4th and
13 7th July by the Ministry of Defence. Were you informed
14 of those interviews before they took place?
15 A. I knew they were happening. I believe in actual fact --
16 I believe one was scheduled originally for 30th June,
17 and up until yesterday I believed that meeting had gone
18 forward on 30th June; I know now it happened in fact on
19 4th July. I think that is the last occasion on which
20 I met Dr Kelly because he was in the Foreign Office,
21 I met him in the corridor. He was on his way, I think,
22 to the Ministry of Defence and I bought him a coffee.
23 Q. Were you asked to comment or to provide any background
24 information for the purpose of those interviews?
25 A. No, sir.
1 Q. After mid June 2003, did you remain in touch with
2 Dr Kelly before his name entered into the public domain
3 on 10th July? Did you have any further discussions with
5 A. As I say, I think that I met with him for the last time
6 on 4th July, when I met him coincidentally in the
7 Foreign Office as he was just about to leave, and
8 I bought him a cup of coffee and we sat down and had
9 a quick chat over a cup of coffee. I knew he was due to
10 have a meeting in the Ministry of Defence and he told me
11 that was the case.
12 Q. Apart from that, nothing else in that period?
13 A. Apart from that, nothing else, no.
14 Q. After Dr Kelly's name became known on 10th July, he had
15 to give evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee on
16 15th July and to the ISC on 16th July.
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Did Dr Kelly try to call you in this period or did you
19 try to call him?
20 A. I tried to call him in the week of the 7th July, towards
21 the end of the week of the 7th July, after his name had
22 become public, because I wanted to express my sympathy
23 for the situation in which he found himself.
24 Q. And what did you discuss in this conversation?
25 A. He was in fact incommunicado around that time because
1 I think he was being harried by the press and I was
2 unable to speak with him that week.
3 However, on the 14th July he called in to my
4 colleague in the Counter Proliferation Department and
5 spoke with him. The colleague subsequently reported to
6 me that he felt that David was under stress and he asked
7 David: would it be helpful if I spoke with him? And
8 I think he possibly informed him that I had been trying
9 to contact him. David said that that would be helpful;
10 and so I called him.
11 Q. When Dr Kelly was called to go before the Foreign
12 Affairs Committee he was given some Parliamentary
13 Questions, or PQs as they are called, asking him about
14 the nature of his press contacts generally, and in
15 particular with Mr Gilligan. Did he discuss these
16 questions with you at all?
17 A. I in fact discussed them with him. They were tabled,
18 I believe, therefore on the 14th and the Ministry of
19 Defence had passed copies of those two Parliamentary
20 Questions to the Foreign Office in order that we check
21 and verify the accuracy of the eventual response which
22 would come from the Ministry of Defence. When they were
23 literally sitting on my desk and when I called David,
24 I decided to use that opportunity as a way of, as it
25 were, speaking with him directly and getting some views
1 as to names. And I think the questions were extremely
2 precise; it was not simply names of journalists, I think
3 there were dates and so forth required. I think they
4 were very detailed questions.
5 Q. I think we can call them up. I think the reference is
6 TVP/2/15. Does this look right?
7 A. That is correct, those are the --
8 Q. This is one of the questions:
9 "... which journalists Mr David Kelly has met over
10 the past two years; other than Andrew Gilligan of the
11 BBC, (a) for what purpose each meeting was held, and (b)
12 when each meeting took place."
13 Then the next one is at page 17:
14 "To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when
15 over the past two years Dr David Kelly has met
16 Mr Andrew Gilligan of the BBC."
17 Did you in fact discuss these questions with
18 Dr Kelly in any detail?
19 A. In no great detail. I simply said that we had the
20 Parliamentary Questions. I think that he made clear to
21 me at that time, in response to one of them, that in
22 actual fact -- this is, I think, quite interesting --
23 that he had only had, as he told me at least, one on one
24 meetings, face to face meetings with two journalists.
25 One I know I recall was Jane Corbin. I believe the
1 other may have been Mr Gilligan. I -- it is in my
2 statement certainly, excuse me.
3 Q. In other words, there were just two he mentioned having
5 A. There were two he said having had face to face meetings.
6 The rest had all been telephone exchanges or he had met
7 them in the context of seminars he was attending,
8 therefore in the presence of other people so --
9 Q. Did he say anything about Ms Watts on this occasion?
10 A. No, he did not.
11 Q. Did he say anything to you about Mr Gilligan on this
13 A. All that he said to me -- I wanted to speak with him
14 because, as I said, I wanted to express my sympathy for
15 the situation which he was in and try to help him as
16 best I could. I did deliberately did not want to go
17 through in, in any sense, the evidence he might have to
18 give before the Foreign Affairs Committee. He
19 volunteered to me that he had spoken to Mr Gilligan,
20 that he, if you like, recognised the framework of the
21 story which Mr Gilligan eventually produced but that
22 those were not -- in his words, those were not the words
23 he had used. He did not recognise the piece. Therefore
24 he recognised, as it were, a superstructure had been
25 created from comment or a brief conversation he had. He
1 was very adamant those were not the words he used.
2 I think those were the comments he made both to the
3 Ministry of Defence in a letter and also I think to the
4 Foreign Affairs Committee when he appeared before them.
5 Q. Did Dr Kelly say anything about the treatment he was
6 receiving from the Ministry of Defence?
7 A. He did. He volunteered that he was perfectly happy with
8 the treatment he was receiving. He had no complaints
9 about the process that had been gone through.
10 Q. Did he say anything about the prospect of having to give
11 evidence before the Foreign Affairs Committee?
12 A. He was clearly very nervous about that, and that is
13 understandable. And I simply referred to my own
14 previous experience of appearing before the Foreign
15 Affairs Committee and that I thought -- and I tried to
16 say to him I thought it would be a fairly
17 straightforward business; and that certainly the
18 Intelligence and Security Committee would be much more
19 straightforward because it was at least in private,
20 therefore he would not feel the glare of publicity.
21 Q. Did he mention to you that he had received the letter,
22 or at least he had received, if I can put it this way,
23 a warning from the Ministry of Defence saying they were
24 not going to take disciplinary action but that might
25 change if further revelations came out?
1 A. He did not say that to me, sir. I asked him, because
2 I really wanted to be reassure myself that as a result
3 of his discussions with the Ministry of Defence that
4 there were no -- there would be no further repercussions
5 for him. I knew that he would inevitably have to face
6 or be disciplined for the action he had taken. But
7 I was primarily concerned that there be no threat to his
8 pension rights. I asked him those questions, more to
9 reassure myself, to be very frank. Once he had answered
10 that was not the case and those were not under -- the
11 disciplinary matter was a fairly minor one, no problems
12 and no threat to pension, I said to him: in that case,
13 David, the worst is over, you have nothing more to fear.
14 Q. How did he seem to you to be taking the pressure, in
15 this conversation?
16 A. I concur with my colleague, he was tense. And he --
17 that is understandable. Anybody going through such an
18 ordeal is tense, inevitably. He was keen if possible
19 that I be there on the day and I had to say to him that
20 I could not be there; the Ministry of Defence would be
21 accompanying him. In that sense, I detected that he
22 obviously wanted or would like to have had, I would not
23 say friends around him but people he knew and was
24 comfortable with. That is in no sense, and I must
25 stress this, to be in any way critical of the Ministry
1 of Defence. I know Mr Howard and Dr Wells and I know
2 that they would have conducted and did conduct the
3 interviews with him in a very human and understanding
5 We were -- by virtue of the fact that perhaps we
6 were not his line managers in the Foreign Office, there
7 was an easier relationship, as can often be the case.
8 Q. Just to date this conversation, it seems likely it would
9 have been on 14th July because that is when the
10 Parliamentary Questions were drafted.
11 A. That was when they were tabled. They were answered by
12 the 17th.
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. But the conversation took place on the afternoon of the
15 14th July.
16 Q. Did you have any --
17 LORD HUTTON: May I just ask you: this was a telephone
18 conversation, was it?
19 A. It was a telephone conversation, my Lord.
20 MR KNOX: Did you say after he had given his evidence that
21 he should come and see you?
22 A. Yes. Initially my understanding was that he would go
23 before the Foreign Affairs Committee in the morning and
24 the Intelligence and Security Committee in the
25 afternoon, and that was the original plan. I said to
1 him to come over to the Foreign Office at lunchtime, we
2 could sort of have lunch. It was then he informed me,
3 and I learnt for the first time, that in actual fact the
4 meetings would take place on successive days. He
5 commented that obviously -- I would not say distressed
6 him but it obviously made the process more protracted,
7 as he saw it; it was going to be drawn out over two
8 days. I asked him to come in to see us after the
9 Foreign Affairs Committee hearing but, as I recall, he
10 said that he would be too tired. And I think, to be
11 very frank, I do not think I had quite perceived and
12 understood the extent to which there was so much press
13 and media attention. He was no longer able to meander
14 over to the Foreign Office and walk in as he had
16 Q. Did you have any further contact with Dr Kelly after
17 this conversation?
18 A. I did not, no.
19 Q. Are you able to say whether or not he was looking
20 forward to going to Iraq?
21 A. I cannot say that as a matter of fact; but I think that
22 everything about him and his expertise would have made
23 him extremely excited and pleased to be going back to
24 Iraq, yes.
25 Q. Can I just ask you just a general point about Dr Kelly?
1 You obviously got to know him fairly well. The
2 impression one gets from what other people have said is
3 that he was a man who was very precise in his language
4 and what he did. Would that be right?
5 A. That would be correct, yes.
6 Q. And extremely conscientious?
7 A. Very conscientious, yes.
8 Q. And with considerable pride no doubt in his professional
10 A. Absolutely.
11 Q. As far as you are aware, was he someone who you felt you
12 could trust his word, or was he the sort of person who
13 you might have doubts about?
14 A. I have said in my statement and I hold to it that I had
15 complete confidence in him, and in discussions with the
16 press office I occasionally recall I would be the one
17 who would sometimes argue, sometimes more forcefully, he
18 should go and give a background piece because I had such
19 confidence in him and such confidence in his judgment.
20 Q. Had you ever had reason to doubt his word?
21 A. No, I had not.
22 MR KNOX: Mr Lamb, I understand you will be coming back at
23 the beginning of next week to answer one or two more
24 questions, but for the time being thank you very much.
25 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much indeed, Mr Lamb.
1 MR DINGEMANS: Mr Howard, please.
2 MR MARTIN HOWARD (called)
3 Examined by MR DINGEMANS
4 Q. Mr Howard, thank you for coming back. You helped on
5 Monday with the dossier. You are going to help us with
6 some other areas this afternoon. Since Monday you have
7 very kindly supplied or caused to be supplied two
8 further versions of the dossier to the Inquiry, which
9 came in yesterday.
10 A. I am not sure that was me who provided those.
11 Q. Anyway, we have them now.
12 A. Right.
13 Q. Can I just take you, very quickly, to those? It is
14 DOS/2/2. Can I just recap where we were before, so that
15 one can take it shortly? We had a dossier on
16 20th June 2002. Do you recollect that from Monday?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. We had a dossier of 5th September 2002; do you recollect
19 that from Monday? And also, on Monday, we had a dossier
20 on the 19th September 2002.
21 A. That is right, yes.
22 Q. This one appears, if you look at the top right-hand
23 corner, to be dated 10/11th September 2002.
24 A. Hmm.
25 Q. Do you know, first of all, whose writing the date is in
1 at the top?
2 A. I cannot say for certain but that looks like Dr Miller's
3 writing, the chief of the assessment staff in Cabinet
4 Office. I do not know. I know Dr Miller very well and
5 I recognise his handwriting but that -- it is possible
6 it is his.
7 Q. This is, then, the dossier on 10th/11th September. By
8 way of chronology, 20th June was very much one area of
9 what became the Government dossier.
10 A. Hmm, hmm.
11 Q. 5th September we looked at, no 45 minutes claim.
12 A. Hmm, hmm.
13 Q. 19th September, 45 minutes.
14 A. Hmm, hmm.
15 Q. I think it was on Monday you told us that on
16 9th September there was a JIC assessment relating to the
17 45 minute claim.
18 A. That is right.
19 Q. Can I take you to DOS/2/7? It is at paragraph 6,
20 bullet 2.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I got this last night, along with quite a lot of other
23 handwritten material. So this is the only reference
24 I can find to the 45 minutes, where it says:
25 "Envisages the use of weapons of mass destruction in
1 its current military planning, and could deploy such
2 weapons within 45 minutes of the order being given ..."
3 There was also one further reference in this
4 dossier; and that is at DOS/2/37, at the top. Can you
5 see the last sentence?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. "Within the last month intelligence has suggested that
8 the Iraqi military would be able to use their chemical
9 and biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to
10 do so."
11 That, as far as I can see, is the first reference to
12 the 45 minutes claim.
13 A. In the dossier, as opposed to --
14 Q. In the dossier, yes.
15 Can we now look at the dossier that comes in on
16 16th September 2002? That is DOS/2/58. You can see at
17 the top right-hand corner, "16th September 2002".
18 If we look at DOS/2/72, at bullet 3 going down the
19 page, under "Recent Intelligence", the final sentence
20 reads this:
21 "The Iraqi military may be able to deploy chemical
22 or biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to
23 do so."
24 It seems to have got a little bit weaker; is that
1 A. Well, I was not involved in this process. The earlier
2 version I think said "intelligence suggests"; this does
3 not actually refer to intelligence, it is a summary of
4 "the Iraqi military may be able to". It is very fine
5 shading. "Intelligence suggests" could be regarded as
6 synonymous with "may", but I can understand why some
7 people might think it had been very slightly weakened.
8 Q. If we try to retain that phrase "Iraqi military may be
9 able to deploy chemical or biological weapons within
10 45 minutes of an order" and then go to the dossier as it
11 turned out, DOS/1/59, you can see from the top:
12 "And the document discloses that his military
13 planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within
14 45 minutes of an order to use them."
15 Whilst there may not have been, as you say, much
16 change between the earlier two, this is noticeably
17 harder, is that fair?
18 A. I think that is fair, yes.
19 Q. If we look again at DOS/1/60 and go down to paragraph 6,
20 second bullet:
21 "Some of these weapons are deployable within
22 45 minutes of an order to use them."
23 Again, it seems on the face of it slightly more
25 A. My only comment would be these are subparagraphs from
1 the first line that says "we judge that Iraq", so
2 I think it needs to be qualified by that.
3 Q. I mean these changes, which may be considered
4 significant by intelligence personnel, that you
5 understood to be causing some of the concerns that you
6 spoke about on Monday; is that right?
7 A. Yes. I think the concerns as I understood them were
8 that there were no problems about including the
9 intelligence about 45 minutes. That was a perfectly
10 respectable piece of intelligence to include. I think,
11 indeed, that those who had raised concerns were not
12 worried about the precise phraseology used in the body
13 of the paper. I think their concerns were about how it
14 had been presented in the Prime Minister's foreword and
15 in the executive summary.
16 Q. Which is where, I suppose, the No. 10 element became the
17 strongest, because that was in the foreword.
18 A. I think that is probably true to say in the foreword.
19 As I understand it, the executive summary was approved
20 by the JIC, but again I was not around at the time to be
21 absolutely certain of that.
22 Q. Can I then turn to other matters that I think you are
23 going to help us with? Thank you very much for dealing
24 with the dossiers there. 5th June. Did you have any
25 involvement in the broadcasts that had been made by
1 Andrew Gilligan?
2 A. On 5th June, sorry? I thought his broadcast was on
3 29th May.
4 Q. Yes. And then were you ever contacted on 4th June --
5 did anyone contact you and ask you to undertake any
7 A. Sorry, I understand. Yes, on 4th June the permanent
8 secretary Kevin Tebbit wrote to the chief of defence
9 intelligence, who is my immediate boss, and said that,
10 I am paraphrasing, although there was insufficient
11 information for a formal leak inquiry, which would have
12 been the responsibility of Sir David Omand if that had
13 taken place, nevertheless he felt it right we should
14 take all steps within the DIS: firstly, to remind people
15 about their duty of confidentiality and remind them of
16 the rules about contact with the media; and secondly, if
17 it were possible to identify more closely who should be
18 involved, who might have been involved in passing this
19 information to Mr Gilligan, that that should be reported
20 back to him, that is Sir Kevin Tebbit.
21 He suggested in that that the chief of defence
22 intelligence should ask me to handle this issue, partly
23 because I had previously been head of communications so
24 I had some awareness of how the media worked; and I duly
25 then wrote out to directors within the defence
1 intelligence staff on 5th June, essentially summarising
2 what the permanent secretary had said in his minute and
3 asking for any information that directors came upon to
4 pass that to me, and also to remind their staff about
5 their duty of confidentiality.
6 Q. And Dr Kelly had -- I think we were told this morning --
7 an office within your department; is that right, within
8 the DIS?
9 A. I was not aware he had an office. He would visit
10 frequently. I think he would sit at desks. He had
11 access to the DIS IT system. He had his own account.
12 That account actually, though, did not take effect
13 8th April this year.
14 Q. Right. So you circulated that memorandum.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And then I think you went off to the States for a short
18 A. That is right.
19 Q. You returned just after the publication of The Observer
20 article we have heard about on 15th June.
21 A. That is right.
22 Q. Were you contacted in relation to that?
23 A. I was contacted by a colleague who drew it to my
24 attention in the press cuttings.
25 Q. Right. What did you do about it?
1 A. Well, I gathered from my colleague that the numbers of
2 people who fitted the description in The Observer
3 article were quite small. I think Mr Lamb has talked
4 about four people and I think that is right.
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. The view of my colleague, as passed on to me: although
7 those four included Dr Kelly, Dr Kelly seemed to be the
8 most likely if it was one of those who had been the
9 source, partly because he had contacts with the media,
10 he had been talking to the media over many years, as we
11 have heard.
12 Secondly, he had expressed very similar views to
13 those cited in The Observer article to one of my other
14 colleagues the previous week. As a result of that,
15 I tried to get hold of Dr Kelly in New York; I knew he
16 was there. In fact, he rang me. Whether that was in
17 response to my trying to get hold of him or whether he
18 rang me direct, I do not know.
19 Q. I think we heard this morning about a missing
20 conversation with Dr Wells who asked him to give you
21 a call.
22 A. I was not aware of that.
23 Q. Anyway, he rang you?
24 A. He rang me and said he had not spoken to The Observer.
25 I accepted that in good faith at the time.
1 Q. Did you have any other conversations at about this time?
2 A. On that subject?
3 Q. Yes, and Dr Kelly. I think Mr Lamb has just given
4 evidence about a drinks reception.
5 A. Yes, that was the next day.
6 Q. When was that?
7 A. That was on Tuesday 17th. It was a reception at the
8 security service headquarters at Thames House, and in
9 a conversation that I had with Mr Lamb and others it
10 emerged that Dr Kelly had told Mr Lamb that he had
11 spoken to Mr Gilligan -- I think it was said it had been
12 some two weeks earlier but I cannot be precisely sure
13 about that.
14 Q. So what did you do in response to that?
15 A. Well, I thought about it overnight -- bearing in mind
16 what had happened, bearing in mind obviously
17 The Observer article as well -- and I decided to report
18 this to Sir Kevin Tebbit, not least because he had
19 written to my boss about all these subjects. Although
20 Dr Kelly was not a member of the DIS, it seemed to me
21 that as the information had come to me that I really had
22 a duty to explain things to Sir Kevin. I did that,
23 I think, on the afternoon of Wednesday 18th --
24 Q. Right.
25 A. -- of June. I cannot remember the precise time.
1 I explained the background, starting with the article in
2 The Observer, and then recounting the conversation I had
3 had with Mr Lamb and others at Thames House the previous
5 Q. And an interview, I think Dr Wells has told us, was
6 arranged for 24th June.
7 A. Yes. Sir Kevin agreed that we should have not so much
8 an interview but a talk with Dr Kelly on the -- and that
9 was subsequently fixed for 24th June. The purpose of
10 that was to establish whether or not he had actually
11 spoken to Mr Gilligan at that time, we did not know if
12 that was the case for certain, to try to establish what
13 it is he had said and I think also to remind him about
14 the rules regarding contact with the media.
15 Q. I think we have also heard from Dr Wells, this morning,
16 to take it I hope shortly but accurately, that was
17 postponed because of a separate leak inquiry into the
18 top secret document that had been leaked to
19 Andrew Gilligan in February; is that right?
20 A. Yes, I think it is more about the possibility that
21 inquiry would be reopened as a result of the evidence
22 given by Mr Gilligan to the Foreign Affairs Committee.
23 Without going into detail -- I could if you wish -- that
24 was the reason why the meeting was postponed.
25 Q. At some stage Dr Kelly was then excluded from that
1 inquiry, is that right?
2 A. Yes, he was but I did not have anything directly to do
3 with that. I understand he was excluded, yes.
4 Q. Then the interview did take place on 4th July. We have
5 heard from Dr Wells about that.
6 A. Yes. It was a rather different interview in the sense
7 that it was an interview with the Personnel Director and
8 Dr Wells. I was not actually present at that one.
9 Q. Were you given any details of that interview?
10 A. Yes. Mr Hatfield came to see me after it because he and
11 I had been asked to go down and talk to
12 Sir Kevin Tebbit. He gave me a very brief account. He
13 also told me that on the basis of that interview, on the
14 basis of the comparison between what Dr Kelly had told
15 him and written, and what Mr Gilligan had said about his
16 single source, he did not think that Dr Kelly was the
17 single source.
18 I expressed a view at the time that I thought
19 nevertheless that he probably was or it seemed likely to
20 me that he was. We went down, then, to brief
21 Sir Kevin Tebbit on the outcome. Essentially
22 Mr Hatfield briefing Sir Kevin Tebbit on the outcome.
23 Subsequently I saw the minutes and records of the
24 meeting which took place on 4th July.
25 Q. Before that you had seen, on 2nd July, Dr Kelly's
1 letter, is that right, dated 30th June?
2 A. That is right. I am trying to remember if I saw that on
3 the 2nd or the 3rd. I think I actually received it on
4 Thursday 3rd July, but Dr Wells had told me on the 2nd
5 that he had sent it to me.
6 Q. I think we are going to hear later on that on the
7 evening of 3rd July Mr Hoon contacted Jonathan Powell at
8 Downing Street. Do you know how that came to happen?
9 A. No, I do not.
10 Q. You just reported up to Sir Kevin Tebbit?
11 A. I reported up to Kevin Tebbit that afternoon, the 3rd.
12 Q. What happens thereafter is not your concern?
13 A. Except that the Personnel Director should hold a meeting
14 with Dr Kelly the next day and that was really all that
15 was decided there.
16 Q. That is Friday 4th July. Saturday 5th July were you
17 contacted at all?
18 A. Yes. I was at a garden centre and I had a phone call on
19 my mobile phone from Dominic Wilson, who is private
20 secretary to Sir Kevin Tebbit. He rang me to say that
21 Sir Kevin felt that he probably needed to write again to
22 Sir David Omand about this case. I should say that
23 Sir Kevin had written the previous evening, on 4th July,
24 to Sir David Omand. One of the primary reasons for that
25 was the appearance of an article in The Times which
1 appeared to have further clues about the identity of
2 Andrew Gilligan's source. At that time I had not read
3 the article.
4 Q. In fact, I think Sir Kevin Tebbit did write. Can we
5 look at MoD/1/38? Is this the letter to which you
7 A. That was the second letter on 5th July, yes.
8 Q. Yes.
9 "Since my letter to you yesterday afternoon, there
10 has been a further development which points more
11 strongly to our official as being the 'source' for the
12 Gilligan allegation."
13 A. Hmm, hmm.
14 Q. There is reference to The Times article by Mr Baldwin
15 that we have heard about in some of the other evidence.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you have anything further to do with this over the
19 A. Later on the morning of the 5th June I had another
20 mobile phone call while I was in --
21 Q. 5th July?
22 A. 5th July. Another mobile telephone call from
23 a colleague in the DIS who had seen The Times article.
24 This colleague was aware that there had been concerns
25 about the possibility of a contact between Dr Kelly and
1 Mr Gilligan. In fact, he had been part of the
2 conversation with myself and Patrick Lamb back on
3 17th June. But he was unaware, at that stage, that
4 Dr Kelly had written to Bryan Wells and that had been
5 passed on to me. What this colleague said to me
6 unprompted was: looking at The Times article, this all
7 but named Dr Kelly as the source of Gilligan's report.
8 Q. Right.
9 A. The only other conversation I had that day --
10 Q. Sorry, just in relation to that, that was because the
11 person who had read the article within the DIS knew
12 a bit about Dr Kelly's background?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And could work out from the clues that had been given to
15 Mr Baldwin who Dr Kelly was?
16 A. Yes, and he therefore felt there were several other
17 people who could do the same.
18 Q. He felt there were?
19 A. Several other people who could do the same.
20 Q. Did you then become involved with the interview on
21 7th July?
22 A. I had one more phone call on the 5th, just for
23 completeness, in that Dominic Wilson rang me again on
24 5th June just simply to read through what
25 Sir Kevin Tebbit was proposing to write to
1 Sir David Omand to make sure there were no factual
2 errors, as it were, from an intelligence point of view
3 within that, which he did.
4 Q. Can I just ask you this: Dr Wells was going to do his
5 interview on 4th July?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. By himself?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And I think he told us this morning that you contacted
10 him and as a result Mr Hatfield sat in.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Why had it gone up a level, as it were?
13 A. I think this was a judgment made by Sir Kevin Tebbit,
14 that we had a letter which, you know, clearly showed
15 that there had been a meeting between Dr Kelly and
16 Andrew Gilligan, that it was clearly unauthorised, that
17 it had certainly touched upon matters which were the
18 subject of Andrew Gilligan's report. It was, you know,
19 potentially quite a serious issue; and in those
20 circumstances Sir Kevin thought it was more appropriate
21 that the interview be conducted by Richard Hatfield with
22 Dr Wells present; and that is what happened.
23 Q. Right. But on 7th July you are asked to attend the
24 interview with Dr Kelly?
25 A. That is right.
1 Q. Dr Wells had rather assumed, I think, from his evidence,
2 that on Friday 3rd July that would have been it.
3 A. Hmm, hmm.
4 Q. Do you know the circumstances in which it came to be
5 decided that there ought to be a second interview?
6 A. I do not know directly. I know that there was obviously
7 Sir Kevin's further letter to Sir David Omand over the
8 previous weekend on 2nd July, and I understand there
9 were quite a lot of high level discussions over the
10 telephone between Sir Kevin and Sir David and possibly
11 others. I recall seeing the response from Sir David
12 Omand to Sir Kevin Tebbit which recorded the
13 Prime Minister's views that before we decided on what
14 are the next steps that should be taken, it would be
15 sensible to try to go into a bit more detail, into the
16 differences between what Dr Kelly had said and what
17 Andrew Gilligan had claimed. But I -- that is, I --
18 I do not --
19 Q. Your broad understanding lower down, although not that
20 lower down the chain, sorry, was that people at a higher
21 level had become involved and there was then going to be
22 a second interview?
23 A. Yes, I think that sums it up; yes.
24 Q. You took part in the second interview. If you will
25 forgive me I will not take you through that.
1 A. Hmm, hmm.
2 Q. I have been through bits with Dr Wells.
3 A. Hmm, hmm.
4 Q. After the second interview, if you were being entirely
5 judgemental about it, were you convinced by what
6 Dr Kelly had said?
7 A. I had no reason to doubt what Dr Kelly said. I still
8 felt it most likely that he was the source that
9 Andrew Gilligan had referred to.
10 Q. You thought he was the source?
11 A. Hmm.
12 LORD HUTTON: Does that mean, Mr Howard, that you accepted
13 Dr Kelly's account to you of what he had said to
14 Mr Gilligan but you thought that Mr Gilligan had then,
15 in effect, embellished that account? In other words,
16 that Dr Kelly was the single source but he had not said
17 everything to Mr Gilligan that Mr Gilligan reported him
18 as having said?
19 A. Well, all I had, my Lord, was what Dr Kelly had said in
20 his letter and what he said at his interviews, which was
21 very consistent.
22 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
23 A. And I had no reason to doubt his words. The reason why
24 I felt it was very likely that he was the source was
25 less to do with the precise content of what he said and
1 what Mr Gilligan had said, it was that Mr Gilligan was
2 very insistent that the source of his story was a single
3 source. Indeed, he had been criticised and the BBC had
4 been criticised quite heavily for that.
5 If in fact Dr Kelly had not been the single source,
6 if there had been some other person that he had met,
7 that Mr Gilligan had me in a central London hotel and
8 discussed these issues, it seemed to me inconceivable
9 that Dr Gilligan would not cite Dr Kelly as
10 corroboration for his single source and would therefore
11 be in a much stronger journalistic position. It was
12 that argumentation in my mind that pointed me towards --
13 led me to conclude at that time that it was most
14 probable that Dr Kelly was Mr Gilligan's source.
15 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
16 MR DINGEMANS: Did you write to anyone about Dr Kelly's
17 views as expressed in the interview?
18 A. I wrote to Sir John Scarlett, who is chairman of the
20 Q. Can I just take you to CAB/1/75? I hope this is the
21 document you are referring to.
22 A. Yes, that looks like it.
23 Q. Can you tell us what this is?
24 A. Sir John Scarlett -- not Sir John Scarlett yet.
25 John Scarlett had asked me if I could provide a short
1 summary of what I understood Dr Kelly's views to be on
2 Iraqi WMD. This is the result. This is basically taken
3 from his note and also from the interviews that took
4 place. I did not actually approach Dr Kelly direct to
5 elicit these views.
6 Q. This was from the interview, as it were?
7 A. And his letter.
8 Q. On page 76 you note another point you managed to
9 elicit --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. -- about his belief about production capability and the
12 difference he drew between production and possession.
13 A. That is right.
14 Q. There is another letter, CAB/1/77. What is this? This
15 appears to be the same but there is lots more
16 handwriting on it. Do you know anything about that?
17 A. No, I do not. That seems to be handwriting from within
18 the Cabinet Office but I do not think I have seen this
20 Q. You can see at the top left "Jonathan Powell"; copies to
21 "Alastair Campbell, David Manning and Claire Sumner".
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Then:
24 "See over the page and the attached extract from
25 Gilligan's evidence to the FAC".
1 Then this:
2 "Note [something] that Kelly may state his view if
3 given the chance by the FAC that the trailers are not
4 for BW production. It is not clear ... how widely the
5 FAC will go in their questioning."
6 A. Right.
7 Q. Do you recognise whose handwriting that is?
8 A. I do not. Looking at the signature, it may be
9 John Scarlett but I do not know for certain.
10 Q. Right, we have got to the 8th July and your letter out.
11 You know, do you not, that the MoD issued a press
12 statement --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- saying that an undisclosed official has come forward?
15 A. Hmm, hmm.
16 Q. Were you party to any of the discussions in relation to
17 the issuance of that press notice?
18 A. Yes, during 8th July I participated in a -- well, either
19 a sort of series of meetings or a rolling meeting,
20 depending how you describe it, where the terms of
21 a press release were discussed and various drafts were
22 sort of handed around and looked at. The previous day
23 we had actually -- Richard Hatfield and I had shown
24 a draft press statement to David Kelly. The versions
25 that were being discussed on the 8th were developments
1 of that. By the time I joined the meeting there were
2 already some new drafts available.
3 Q. Do you know why it was proposed to issue a press notice?
4 A. I think the feeling was that this was a matter of, you
5 know, very considerable public interest, that the
6 Foreign Affairs Committee had themselves recommended
7 that the Government should investigate links with
8 Andrew Gilligan; and there was a very great concern that
9 this would come out by other means, because there had
10 already been speculation about who the source was. It
11 was felt that it was appropriate to get this, you know,
12 quite significant development on to the public record.
13 Q. But the FAC had referred to evidence given by
14 Andrew Gilligan that he had reasonably extensive
15 contacts which appeared to be accurate within the
16 Ministry of Defence. He referred to some four sources.
17 A. Hmm, hmm.
18 Q. And it was in the light of that that the FAC said: we
19 recommend that there be an investigation into
20 Andrew Gilligan's sources?
21 A. Hmm, hmm.
22 Q. But did that necessarily entail identifying someone who
23 was, to the public, someone who was identified as
24 a source of Andrew Gilligan?
25 A. I said that was only part of the reasoning. As I said,
1 the --
2 LORD HUTTON: But if you look at that -- I appreciate you
3 are giving a number of reasons. But if you would be
4 good enough just to look at that in isolation. In the
5 report I think the FAC said, as Mr Dingemans has
6 suggested, that Mr Gilligan's sources should be
7 investigated. That would seem to suggest that the
8 Ministry of Defence themselves would investigate that,
9 but it does not necessarily mean, does it, that if the
10 source was found that he would be asked to go to be
11 a witness before the FAC?
12 A. No, it does not mean that automatically, my Lord,
13 I agree. But it was part of a number of reasons, which
14 included the fact that this was an issue or had been an
15 issue of great public interest.
16 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
17 A. That we had very unusually an individual who had written
18 and said he had spoken to a journalist in this area in
19 an unauthorised way and touched on areas which had been
20 the subject of very great public and media attention.
21 And the overall judgment reached, I think at all levels,
22 from Ministers downwards, was that really it would be
23 necessary to make the fact that this had happened
25 MR DINGEMANS: Can I just ask you a bit about this? You say
1 the great public interest in this. Part of the great
2 public interest was whether the dossier had been, to use
3 the expression, "sexed up". But did the Ministry of
4 Defence release all the drafts of the dossier?
5 A. No.
6 Q. What is the distinction between Dr Kelly and the drafts
7 of the dossier? Both impacted on the same story.
8 A. Well, the way I think senior management in the Ministry
9 of Defence and Ministers saw this was that there had
10 been a great debate about the veracity or otherwise of
11 the dossiers, whether they had been sexed up or not, and
12 that the origins of this debate were the broadcast made
13 by Mr Gilligan on 29th May and the various follow up
14 actions since then. It was therefore a matter of
15 considerable public interest, a matter of great media
17 It would have been, and I think Sir Kevin Tebbit
18 said as much in his letter of 4th July, that if we felt
19 that it would be in the public interest to try to put
20 the record straight on the issue that had been raised in
21 Andrew Gilligan's story, then it would be appropriate to
22 make the fact public that this person had come forward.
23 LORD HUTTON: By putting the record straight, can you just
24 elaborate a little on that?
25 A. I think perhaps correcting the public record on the
1 issue. The accusation had been made that the Government
2 had exaggerated the dossier.
3 LORD HUTTON: Quite, yes.
4 A. It is a matter of fact that the accusations made by
5 Mr Gilligan, to the best of my knowledge, are untrue.
6 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
7 A. And if we take what Dr Kelly had said at the time, then
8 it was clear that some of the things he had said and
9 that what he said in his interviews did not match what
10 Andrew Gilligan had said.
11 LORD HUTTON: Then was the thinking that if Dr Kelly's name
12 was made public and Dr Kelly came forward and said that
13 he had not made the comments which Mr Gilligan had
14 reported, that would show that Mr Gilligan's account was
15 incorrect? Was that, in essence, the thinking?
16 A. I do not think the thinking went that far, my Lord. You
17 will remember that the press release did not actually
18 name Dr Kelly in the first place.
19 LORD HUTTON: I appreciate that, yes.
20 A. It was more that this was information that was germane
21 to an issue which had been of great public concern and
22 great public debate.
23 LORD HUTTON: But if the civil servant was not going to be
24 named and if he was not going to give his account of
25 what he said to Mr Gilligan, how would it advance the
1 public knowledge to say that an unnamed civil servant
2 had come forward?
3 A. Well, first of all, the fact that it had happened at all
4 I said was very unusual; and there was a concern that if
5 it came out from other sources that we might well be
6 criticised for not having made this public. We might
7 have been criticised for covering up for a whistle
8 blower. There are all sorts of scenarios that you could
10 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
11 A. The important thing or one of the important things in
12 the press statement was that it did identify some of the
13 things that Dr Kelly said and how they were different
14 from what Mr Gilligan said.
15 LORD HUTTON: Yes. So you are right, the press statement,
16 although the civil servant was not named, did indicate
17 that some of the things which he says he said were
18 contrary to Mr Gilligan's report.
19 A. That is correct.
20 LORD HUTTON: Yes, I see.
21 MR DINGEMANS: Just finally on that point. I mean, if the
22 concern was to ensure that the public knew as much as
23 possible, then the FAC had actually asked for the drafts
24 of the dossier, had they not?
25 A. I believe they had, yes.
1 Q. Had they been given them?
2 A. Not to my knowledge. That is a matter for the Foreign
3 Office to answer in detail.
4 Q. Alright. It appears from the Foreign Affairs Committee
5 report they had not been given them.
6 A. I should say of course that in parallel with the Foreign
7 Affairs Committee investigation the Intelligence and
8 Security Committee investigation was underway. Again,
9 this is something that you really ought to ask the
10 Cabinet Office in more detail. But up till now, and
11 I think it is still the case, we have been prepared to
12 give to the ISC, Intelligence and Security Committee,
13 material which does not go to other Select Committees.
14 I think this is an ongoing point. I know that the
15 Foreign Affairs Committee recommended they should be
16 shown intelligence issues, but the policy adopted by the
17 Cabinet Office for this has been that only the ISC is
18 actually shown JIC assessments. I think -- I do not
19 know for certain but I believe that many of the drafts
20 have actually been shown now to the ISC.
21 Q. As far as the defensive Q and A material was
22 concerned --
23 A. Hmm, hmm.
24 Q. -- this was material prepared by the Ministry of Defence
25 to be given to their press personnel --
1 A. That is right.
2 Q. -- to brief the media with on the 8th/9th July?
3 A. Hmm, hmm.
4 Q. Were you involved in the preparation of that at all?
5 A. Yes. It was discussed at the rather lengthy meeting
6 which took place on 8th July.
7 Q. What was the reasoning behind this defensive Q and A
9 A. Defensive Q and A material overall was to provide
10 material that the press office could draw upon if they
11 were asked questions by the media in the aftermath of
12 the public statement.
13 Q. Can I take you to MoD/1/63, which is part way through
14 this defensive Q and A material? It says this, in the
15 third paragraph down:
16 "It is unprecedented for a Government Department to
17 make a statement of this sort. Why have you done it?"
18 First of all, is that right from your understanding?
19 I think you said you were previously in communications.
20 A. It is -- I mean the circumstances are very unusual,
21 where someone has been identified as having had an
22 unauthorised contact with the media. I have been in the
23 Ministry of Defence some time and my last recollection
24 of when that happened was at the time of Clive Ponting
25 in 1985. So it was actually quite an unusual situation
1 that we found ourselves in. So I think that really is
2 reflected there.
3 Q. I mean, part of the reason appears to be that the
4 official volunteered the information to us. That is
5 hardly likely to encourage others to do that, is it?
6 A. Well, I could not argue with that.
7 Q. And just below that:
8 "Will he be disciplined/sacked?
9 "Appropriate management steps will be taken. On the
10 basis of our current understanding of the situation, he
11 will not be sacked."
12 A. Hmm, hmm.
13 Q. Was that very much the line that was being given to
14 Dr Kelly as far as you knew?
15 A. I do not know what was being said precisely to Dr Kelly.
16 The basis of that statement there was that he had been
17 interviewed twice. Mr Hatfield had reached a conclusion
18 about what management steps would be taken which, in the
19 end, was a letter, where he said there would be no
20 further action taken. I think that just reflects that.
21 Q. That is the defensive Q and A material?
22 A. Hmm, hmm.
23 Q. Did you have any further involvement until 14th July?
24 A. My only further involvement I -- on 9th July I went off
25 to Qatar and Iraq. When I was in Iraq on 10th July
1 I received a message to the effect that Dr Kelly's name
2 was in the UK media; just simply a message, no more than
3 that. And I was not involved further, as you say, until
4 14th July.
5 I am trying to recollect whether I had any telephone
6 conversations over the weekend of what will be the
7 12th/13th. It is possible that I rang Dominic Wilson
8 just to get an update on what was an ongoing situation,
9 but I do not recall that and certainly I took no
10 substantive action.
11 Q. That is effectively where it rested until you returned
12 on Monday 14th July; is that right?
13 A. That is correct, yes.
14 Q. Now, on Monday 14th July we know that you took part in
15 a briefing of Dr Kelly?
16 A. That is right.
17 Q. Or an interview with Dr Kelly.
18 LORD HUTTON: I think this might then be a convenient moment
19 to give the stenographers a break.
20 (3.13 pm)
21 (Short Break)
22 (3.20 pm)
23 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
24 MR DINGEMANS: Mr Howard, we were talking about the
25 14th July. You had come back over the weekend, I think,
1 from Iraq and Qatar and you are back in the Ministry of
2 Defence. And Dr Wells is thinking that he is going to
3 do a briefing, which he does do, with Dr Kelly, and to
4 the best of his recollection it was shortly before
5 lunch, going through some lines of questioning.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Then he hears from you that you are going to do
8 a briefing as well. How did that come to happen?
9 A. Sir Kevin Tebbit asked me if I would see Dr Kelly,
10 really for three purposes.
11 Firstly, to explain to Dr Kelly, as we would before
12 any witnesses going before Select Committees, how Select
13 Committees worked and indeed the differences between the
14 two Committees he was going to face.
15 Secondly was to give him some guidance about the
16 areas of questioning he was likely to face.
17 The third reason was to satisfy myself that he was
18 able, willing and ready to face what we thought was
19 going to be two meetings of Committees the next day on
20 the 15th.
21 Q. Can I take you to a document which is CAB/1/106?
22 You can see that substantial parts of this are
23 blacked out as being irrelevant --
24 A. Hmm, hmm.
25 Q. -- and concerning other matters that are secret. But
1 the relevant parts is 1a:
2 "I went to this morning's meeting on Iraq WMD. The
3 following key points arose..."
4 Do you know who this is from?
5 If you go to CAB/1/107, we can see Colin Smith,
6 counter proliferation strategy. Who is he?
7 A. Colin, I think, works in the Counter Proliferation
8 Department for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He
9 is a colleague of Patrick Lamb's.
10 Q. Going back to 106 if I may, and 1a:
11 "DCDI ..."
12 That is you, is it not?
13 A. That is me.
14 Q. "... is to brief David Kelly this afternoon for his
15 appearances tomorrow before the FAC and ISC, and will
16 strongly recommend that Kelly is not drawn on his
17 assessment of the dossier (but stick to what he told
18 Gilligan). Kelly is apparently feeling the pressure,
19 and does not appear to be handling it well."
20 Who was responsible for those comments at the
21 meeting? Were you at that meeting?
22 A. I was at that meeting, yes.
23 Q. Right. And does that accord with your recollection of
24 what was said at the meeting? Who said that?
25 A. The main thing I remember about that meeting was giving
1 an account of my visit to Iraq, which was the main
2 purpose of it, which is the bit, I think, that has been
3 blacked out. I do not recall saying very much about
4 this at the meeting but it is entirely possible that
5 I did. We covered a wide range of issues. I certainly
6 do not recall using the language that is said there.
7 What I had proposed to do with David Kelly that
8 afternoon was set out those areas of questioning which
9 he could and indeed he should respond accurately and
10 factually to what the Committee asked him, and then to
11 identify those areas of questioning where he could
12 legitimately say: actually this is more a matter for the
13 Ministry of Defence, for Ministers rather than for me.
14 I was very conscious that the Secretary of State had
15 written to the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee
16 and laid down some areas of -- that we would prefer
17 David Kelly to be questioned on and areas that we felt
18 it was not appropriate for him to be questioned on.
19 The second -- the last sentence:
20 "Kelly is apparently feeling the pressure, and does
21 not appear to be handling it well."
22 Again, I do not recall saying that. If I did, it
23 would be purely passing on a second-hand account of what
24 may have been told to me because I had not seen Dr Kelly
25 since my meeting with him and Richard Hatfield the
1 previous Monday, 8th July -- 7th July, I apologise.
2 Q. Thank you. That is quite a long answer. Just one
3 aspect of it. You say this:
4 "We covered a wide range of issues. I certainly do
5 not recall using the language that is said there.
6 "What I had proposed to do with David Kelly that
7 afternoon was set out those areas of questioning which
8 he could and indeed he should respond accurately and
9 factually to what the Committee asked him, and then to
10 identify those areas of questioning where he could
11 legitimately say: actually this is more a matter for the
12 Ministry of Defence, for Ministers rather than for me."
13 A. That is right.
14 Q. Is that your evidence on that issue, that you were going
15 to identify to him those areas --
16 A. That is what I proposed to do, yes.
17 Q. That were matters for Ministers?
18 A. Yes, that would certainly be the case.
19 Q. Because if we go to the note of the meeting itself,
20 which is at MoD/1/85, there you can see a transcribed
21 note made by Dr Wells.
22 A. That is right.
23 Q. And I think produced, he said, on about 22nd July.
24 A. Hmm, hmm.
25 Q. And at paragraph 3 at the bottom:
1 "Howard then outlined other areas where the
2 Committees might probe, which were at the margins of
3 what the Defence Secretary had defined when agreeing
4 that the Committees could interview Kelly, but which
5 were nevertheless hard to refuse. These areas were:
6 "(a) What Kelly thought of Government policy on
7 Iraq. Kelly said that this was a matter for Ministers."
8 Was that a line you had given him, then?
9 A. Not particularly. What I said was that there were two
10 areas which I think I have described them as "tricky
11 areas" in speaking to him. One was if he was asked:
12 well, what do you think about the Government's case for
13 going to war in Iraq or the case as set out in the
14 dossier? I said it seemed to me -- I did not say: you
15 cannot, you must not answer, but that it would be
16 appropriate in those circumstances for that to be
17 referred to Ministers because that was a matter for
18 Ministers, and officials should not set out things in
19 front of a Select Committee on that basis.
20 The second area was if they asked him what was his
21 personal view about Iraqi WMD. I said that was
22 something, really, I did not see how he could avoid
23 answering. That seemed to be a perfectly reasonable
25 The third area was if he was asked whether or not he
1 was Gilligan's source. I said to him: well, you must
2 answer that how you see fit according to your
3 conscience. He asked me specifically, you know: can
4 I say that I do not think I am Gilligan's source?
5 I said: well, you must say what you think right and what
6 you think the facts are.
7 Q. Yes. We have seen Dr Wells' notes on that. Can I take
8 you to MoD/6/13? What is this document here?
9 A. These are my scribbled -- I am afraid they are rather
10 scribbled notes I made for myself before the meeting.
11 Q. So these predate the meeting?
12 A. I did them on the morning, yes.
13 Q. You can see "Areas to be covered"; you identify those as
14 you go through.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. For example:
17 "DK account of meeting with Gilligan, when, where,
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Then over the page at 14 you use I rather suspect that
21 is "tricky areas" at the top, is it?
22 A. It is yes.
23 Q. "Are you G's source? Views on Government ..."
24 You will have to translate for me.
25 A. "... Government handling of WMD case for war."
1 Q. And:
2 "Views on Iraqi WMD."
3 A. Hmm, hmm.
4 Q. And the discussions themselves appear to have ranged
5 slightly wider than that, is that fair? Can we look at
6 MoD/5/31? What I am going to take you to here are notes
7 that Dr Wells made?
8 A. Right.
9 Q. You can see at the bottom:
10 "Tricky areas: Your own views. Give your own
11 personal point ..." et cetera.
12 "What do you think of Government? Are you
13 Gilligan's source?"
14 I cannot read the bottom bit; "Disciplinary"?
15 A. That is right, yes.
16 Q. "Disciplinary". Then we can see that over the page at
17 MoD/5/32 there was also some discussion about Niger.
18 A. That is right, yes. He asked, "what should I say about
19 Niger?" I said, "You should say what you think". He
20 had already said in his interviews with Mr Hatfield on
21 4th July and also in the interviews with Mr Hatfield and
22 myself on 7th July that his view on Niger was the same
23 as the IAEA published view about those papers. I said:
24 if that is what you think, you should say that.
25 Q. So in fact what happened is you run through your tricky
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Having said that there are various answers that it would
4 be appropriate to suggest "matter for Ministers"?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Then he starts asking about what you think might be
7 tricky areas?
8 A. I think that is right.
9 Q. "Niger ..."
10 It rather looks as if from this MH, that is you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. "... cannot comment on EIB."
13 I think that is the international body, is it:
14 "Cannot comment on the person who is the source of
15 the uranium allegation.
16 A. Oh "cannot comment", I am not quite sure what that is
17 intended to say. I am not quite sure what EIB is
18 supposed to be.
19 Q. That rather suggests he has asked: what should I say
20 about Niger? And I think you have told us.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you have at least helped him with a possible answer,
23 is that fair?
24 A. What I said was: you said to us that your view was
25 that -- was the same as that had been published by the
1 IAEA. I said: you should say the same as that if that
2 is what you still feel.
3 Q. You raised:
4 "Contact with Susan Watts, source of Newsnight."
5 A. Hmm, hmm.
6 Q. "DK not spoke about dossier."
7 A. Hmm, hmm.
8 Q. And what were you dealing with there?
9 A. Well, that was slightly tangential to the main purpose
10 of the meeting. I think a few days earlier the fact
11 that there had been an article on Newsnight, I think on
12 the 2nd June, I cannot quite remember, which had
13 involved Susan Watts, previously in his interview with
14 Richard Hatfield and myself on 7th July, when I asked
15 him -- when I asked David Kelly: had you had any contact
16 with the BBC since the meeting with Gilligan? And he
17 said, I think -- one of the things he said was: I had
18 had irregular contact with Susan Watts. I did not know
19 Susan Watts and I did not take any particular notice of
20 it at the time. But I recognised after the Susan Watts
21 article had been cited, as it were, as back up for
22 Andrew Gilligan's 29th May broadcast, I recognised the
23 name then. So I took the opportunity simply to ask
24 David: you mentioned you had had contact with
25 Susan Watts, what did you discuss?
1 The record shows that he says he did not speak about
2 the dossier. My recollection is I am not sure it is
3 quite as definite as that. I think he may have said
4 that they touched upon the dossier in one of their
5 conversations but he never said they had had
6 a substantive discussion.
7 Q. Was the effect of this interview that Dr Kelly was being
8 given a certain steer as to how his evidence should go?
9 A. No, certainly not.
10 Q. Do you think he might have interpreted it in that way?
11 A. I do not see how he can have. I started off by saying
12 that: we must not feed you departmental lines, you must
13 answer questions as you see fit. Those are my opening
15 Q. We have seen those records on that part I think I have
16 taken Dr Wells to.
17 A. Hmm, hmm.
18 Q. After the 14th July meeting with Dr Kelly, did you have
19 any further contact with Dr Kelly?
20 A. No, I did not.
21 MR DINGEMANS: Is there anything else surrounding the
22 circumstances of the death of Dr Kelly that you can
23 assist his Lordship with?
24 A. I do not think so.
25 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much indeed, Mr Howard.
1 MR KNOX: My Lord, the next witness is Mr Williams.
2 LORD HUTTON: Yes, thank you very much.
3 MR JOHN WILLIAMS (called)
4 Examined by MR KNOX
5 Q. Mr Williams, could you tell the Inquiry your full name?
6 A. John Williams.
7 Q. And your occupation?
8 A. I am the press secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth
10 Q. And how long have you been the press secretary there?
11 A. Three years, and before that two years I was the deputy.
12 Q. And what is the role, in general terms, of the press
13 secretary of the Foreign Office?
14 A. In broad terms it is to give media advice to Ministers
15 and to act as the chief spokesman on behalf of the
16 Foreign Office.
17 Q. And could you tell us, which Government department is
18 the lead policy department for weapons proliferation?
19 A. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
20 Q. If, therefore, Dr Kelly wanted to talk to somebody about
21 weapons, who would he have get permission from?
22 A. He would go to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office press
24 Q. Who in turn would you consult at the Counter
25 Proliferation Department?
1 A. The press officer dealing with it, rather than myself,
2 would consult Patrick Lamb, who has given evidence
3 earlier today.
4 Q. In, say, 2002 how many requests each month would the
5 Foreign and Commonwealth Office press office receive for
6 Dr Kelly?
7 A. We do not keep a log of our media enquiries because we
8 have so many. But I have talked to James Paver, the
9 press officer who dealt with this issue, his
10 recollection is probably one or two a month. It began
11 to pick up -- spring last year, around about the time
12 when the media interest in Iraq began to pick up,
13 reached a peak in the autumn, but not a very high peak,
14 around at the time that Dr Kelly appeared with the
15 Foreign Secretary at the FAC on 25th September, which
16 was also the week of the dossier.
17 Q. And did you ever, yourself, speak to Dr Kelly?
18 A. Not that I recall, no.
19 Q. And were you ever asked to approve any background
20 briefings for Dr Kelly?
21 A. Not background briefings, no. The way the press office
22 works is that we have so much demand that the press
23 officers, and those members of my staff in my office who
24 receive the media bids, as we call them, they try to
25 filter a little bit so I am not dealing with all of
1 them. Anything they thought I need to know about they
2 would consult me on. So from time to time James Paver
3 would say there was a request, say, for a documentary on
4 weapons of mass destruction, what I did think, and
5 I would give my view.
6 Q. Mr Paver has written an e-mail which explains his role
7 in this matter at the press office which is at CAB/4/8.
8 Now, Mr Williams, would you be able to confirm the
9 contents of what is set out by Mr Paver in this e-mail?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You will see, in the third paragraph down, he explains
12 how the pattern for handling bids works:
13 "The pattern for handling bids for interviews or
14 background briefings with Dr Kelly was that he would
15 alert us to bids made direct to him, or those bids would
16 come direct to us and we would alert him. FCO press
17 office consulted NPD, and advised Dr Kelly accordingly
18 of our decision on whether he could take up any bid. On
19 the whole, where the request was for Dr Kelly to give
20 a strictly technical explanation of a particular weapon
21 and its effects, we would approve, provided that he made
22 clear that he was speaking in his capacity as a
23 technical expert in the subject and not as a civil
24 servant (ie that whoever interviewed him did not bill
25 him as a civil servant). Where the bid included any
1 element of comment/speculation/assessment [about] Iraq
2 (or any other country) and its WMD holdings, we would
3 decline or advise of any areas into which he should not
5 Is that broadly your understanding of what the
6 position was?
7 A. It is, yes.
8 Q. And dropping down a few paragraphs, there is another
9 paragraph beginning:
10 "From recollection, I first had contact with
11 Dr Kelly about bids for him in early 2002, as the media
12 focus on Iraq's WMD grew. The number of bids rose with
13 increasing media speculation about the possible
14 publication of a dossier, where Dr Kelly's detailed
15 knowledge of the history of inspections was of interest
16 to media. It reached a peak following Dr Kelly's
17 appearance alongside the Foreign Secretary on 25th
18 September before the FAC, which was preparing a report
19 on the war against terrorism." And so on.
20 Then it notes in the next paragraph:
21 "Bids tailed off almost completely in 2003."
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And that was your experience as well?
24 A. In my experience I have actually had to check my
25 recollection with James because he was more aware of it
1 than I was.
2 Q. Are you able to give any explanation as to why bids
3 might have dropped off in 2003?
4 A. I would guess because the media's focus was increasingly
5 on diplomacy: could we get a second resolution; was
6 there going to be a conflict?
7 Q. On 29th May 2003 various pieces by Mr Gilligan were
8 broadcast by the Today Programme and on Radio 5; were
9 you in the country at that time?
10 A. I was on holiday that week, in Somerset.
11 Q. When did you return?
12 A. I returned on the Monday to work. I received one or two
13 calls on my mobile from people who ring me regularly, so
14 I understood there was something going on in the media
15 but I referred them back to the Foreign Office press
17 Q. When you got back on 2nd June, presumably this was a
18 story you had to take up yourself and deal with?
19 A. I do not think I took it up on that day. We were going
20 on that Tuesday, the 3rd, to a NATO summit in Madrid.
21 We arrived at the NATO summit at lunchtime, only to hear
22 that the Liberal Democrats had called an emergency
23 debate on this issue for the Wednesday, so we flew
24 straight back and went to the meeting with the Foreign
25 Secretary to prepare his speech, and the following day
1 I was in the Commons, preoccupied. That is how, if you
2 like, I come into the story. I suddenly realise that
3 this is a matter of great controversy.
4 Q. And this would be on 4th June?
5 A. The speech was on the 4th June, on the Wednesday, yes.
6 Q. What was the concern of the Foreign Office, as far as
7 you were aware, as a result of the Gilligan piece?
8 A. The Foreign Office, MoD, No. 10 were all collectively
9 responsible for policy on Iraq, for the dossier, for the
10 conflict, for its aftermath; and it was the Foreign
11 Secretary who was called before the Commons for that
12 emergency debate.
13 Q. On that day, 4th June, was any material given to you, as
14 the FCO press officer, to deal with the claims relating
15 to the 45 minute point in the dossier?
16 A. Yes. The way Foreign Secretary prepares is that he will
17 have a meeting of all the interested officials. During
18 the course of that meeting I was shown a highly
19 classified account of the background to the
20 intelligence, how it came in, where from, and I was
21 given along with it what is called a line to take, in
22 other words a shortened version of that which could be
23 used for the media. And that was relevant to the
24 Foreign Secretary's preparation, so that he could see
25 what it was safe for him to say to the Commons.
1 Q. In other words, relevant to Mr Straw's preparations for
2 his appearances in the Commons on 4th June?
3 A. To the debate the next day, yes.
4 Q. Could we call up CAB/4/14? Mr Williams, do you see here
5 a document headed "Lines to take"?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you recognise this?
8 A. Yes, that is what I was given that day, yes.
9 Q. This is what you get on 4th June?
10 A. On the 3rd June, the evening before the debate, yes.
11 Q. The idea is this is a document that is given to you so
12 you can, as it were, adopt a line to take with
13 journalists or anyone who approaches the press office
14 saying: this is what we are prepared to tell you about
15 the dossier and the 45 minutes claim?
16 A. Yes, there is obviously a limit about how much I can say
17 about intelligence to the media and this is how much
18 I was allowed to say.
19 Q. Would you mind reading out briefly what it says here?
20 A. "Basis for claim that some chemical and biological
21 weapons could be used in 45 minutes?"
23 "An established and reliable source -- not
24 a defector -- who had been reporting to us secretly for
25 some years. The specific information on the 45 minutes
1 readiness of some CBW weapons came from a well-placed
2 senior military officer. Intelligence from other
3 sources had already indicated that Iraq possessed such
4 weapons and had command and control arrangements in
5 place for their use.
6 "[Was the] 45 minute claim inserted at last minute
7 on orders from No. 10?
8 "Quite untrue. The intelligence only became
9 available at the end of August. It was discussed by the
10 JIC in the first week of September, included
11 straightaway in the classified JIC assessments, and
12 incorporated thereafter in the Government's public
14 "Intelligence experts said the 45 minute claim was
15 unsound and should not be used?
16 "Members of the UK intelligence community discussed
17 this particular point and the JIC used it in its
18 classified work. It was subsequently drawn on in
19 preparing the Government's public assessment. The final
20 text of the public assessment was also approved by the
22 "Why use an uncorroborated report?
23 "Because it came from a reliable and established
24 source, quoting a well placed senior officer. The same
25 standard was used for the public and classified
1 assessments. Against the background of other reporting
2 at the time, the reporting was assessed as credible."
3 Q. Did anyone contact you on 4th June, that is the day of
4 the Foreign Secretary's appearance in the House of
5 Commons on the point, did anyone contact you on 4th June
6 about the Iraq issue and the 45 minutes claim?
7 A. Yes. After the debate I went back to my desk and I
8 received a call from James Blitz(?) the political editor
9 of the Financial Times, who told me he was writing his
10 column that on WMD and the controversy and wanted to go
11 through it with me.
12 Q. So what did you tell him?
13 A. I said: first of all, the Foreign Secretary has just
14 spoken to the Commons so I commend his speech, but if
15 you wanted me to go through it I would; and I took him
16 through this material.
17 Q. So you basically told him what you just read out?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And what happened in the Financial Times the next day?
20 A. They led the front page with that story, saying that the
21 source of the 45 minute point was an Iraqi military
23 Q. It appears that --
24 LORD HUTTON: May I just ask you, was it an official of the
25 Foreign Office who gave you this line to take?
1 A. Yes, it was the political director of the Foreign
3 MR KNOX: Did you have some contact around this time with
4 Mr Gilligan?
5 A. I did. At the time The Guardian ran a story about the
6 Foreign Secretary's attitude to WMD which was wrong and
7 I challenged it, and they did run a partial correction.
8 The Today Programme had immediately taken it up the
9 following morning so I wrote an e-mail to the editor,
10 Kevin Marsh, copied to Andrew Gilligan, saying I wanted
11 them to note The Guardian had issued this partial
12 correction and therefore I assumed they would not want
13 to recycle this piece of news.
14 Q. I think we can see some e-mails at CAB/4/9. One has,
15 I think, to go to the end of this sequence at CAB/4/12
16 where it looks to me, at tab/4/12, you will see at the
17 top of the page "Original message from Pat Barrie to
18 Kevin Marsh. It says "See attached letter from John".
19 Are you able to help us with that? Because I do not
20 think we have the attached letter from John.
21 A. I am sorry, I do not. I thought this had the original
22 from me that made that point as I described it just now.
23 Q. Maybe, if one goes to CAB/4/11, at the foot of the page,
24 there is an e-mail sent on Thursday 5th June from
25 Andrew Gilligan at 12.38 pm. Do you have that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. This seems to be the first actual text we have here
4 "Dear John.
5 "I'm sure the programme will get back to you on the
6 Guardian story, but for my part you are wrong to think
7 that I did it. The programme followed The Guardian
8 story, but I did not, because I was doing an entirely
9 difference piece that day.
10 "Yours. Andrew Gilligan."
11 Could you explain the context of that e-mail?
12 A. I think he assumed that because I had copied it to him
13 I was under the impression that he had done that piece
14 on -- I think it was a Saturday morning. The reason for
15 sending it to Andrew Gilligan was that because he covers
16 this issue so frequently, I wanted to make sure he did
17 not take this story up in the future. In fact, you will
18 see from the later e-mails that I make that point to
20 Q. The next e-mail as you go up from the page is a reply
21 from you, it looks pretty quickly, about 12 minutes
22 later, sent Thursday 5th June to Andrew Gilligan. Your
23 reply or a reply sent on your behalf.
24 A. Pat Barrie is my secretary, so I would quickly dictate
25 something like that and she will send it.
1 Q. You say here:
2 "I was making two points."
3 Is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Would you like briefly to read this?
6 A. There is a general point behind this first point I am
7 making to him, which is that it is the nature of news
8 that it is recycled over and over and it quickly becomes
9 fact, and I did not want -- next time Andrew came on to
10 the programme and was asked to recapitulate all the
11 quotes and mistakes the Government had made, I did not
12 want him to include this piece because it was not true.
13 Q. When you say "this piece", this piece being?
14 A. The Guardian piece.
15 Q. So your purpose in this exchange was to prevent Gilligan
16 repeating the story that was run by The Guardian that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And then he replies, when you go back a page to
20 CAB/4/10, right at the foot of the page, the same day:
21 "Pat/John", do you have that?
22 A. I see, yes.
23 Q. Page 10:
24 "The problem is that the 45 minute claim was plainly
25 wrong. Had there been [then you have to go to page 11]
1 weapons at such readiness to fire, they could not have
2 been deeply concealed, so would surely have been found
3 by now. This does not strike me as proof that your
4 informant has a good track record -- actually rather the
5 reverse. As soon as his information is able to be
6 tested it is found wanting. Maybe it argues for a
7 little more discrimination in using the reports of
8 single informants.
9 "We didn't speak to the FCO because it wasn't your
10 dossier. I spoke to the MoD the night before and we
11 booked Ingram to talk about cluster bombs and this on
12 the programme. The programme also spoke to
13 Downing Street early on the morning of transmission.
14 You are one of the Government press people respect as a
15 straight shooter and I would always come to you with an
16 FCO story."
17 Is one to infer from that that you had complained to
18 him in some way that you were rather unhappy that the
19 FCO had not been approached --
20 A. I think I say to him in the previous e-mail: by the way,
21 I am surprised that you never came to me about the
22 dossier. Yes, it is just below. I am not sure why he
23 regards this as an MoD story. I mean, we were all part
24 of the same issue, FCO, MoD, No. 10.
25 Q. Then you reply, going back to page 10, in the middle of
1 the page:
3 "The intelligence arrived in August ..."
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. "... it was published in September, the inspectors
6 deployed in November, during February and March it must
7 have been increasingly clear to Saddam that he was very
8 likely to be invaded. I don't know what he did and am
9 very much looking forward to the truth gradually
11 You then go on to discuss one possibility. Then the
12 next paragraph down:
13 "The point at issue is whether the dossier
14 accurately reflected the 'intelligence assessments', or
15 whether the information was 'sexed up' at the behest of
16 spin doctors (incidentally you and your source have done
17 great violence to the English language in the last
18 week). The key fact to me is that this 'intelligence
19 assessment' was used by the JIC internally on the usual
20 basis, before it was put in the dossier. Not very sexy
21 but true.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. That provoked a reply from Mr Gilligan on 6th June, that
25 is the next day. I am not going to invite you to read
1 it all.
2 A. Thank you.
3 Q. I think it is fair to say that he simply stands by his
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I should say we have only just seen these e-mails so
7 they have not been put to Mr Gilligan. Was there any
8 further correspondence with Mr Gilligan --
9 A. No. I felt that lengthy essay in reply was enough.
10 Q. So you left it at that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you have any other contact with journalists about
13 Mr Gilligan's story in the months of June and July?
14 A. Pretty well -- I would not say constantly, but regularly
15 from the moment that I came into this around that
16 Parliamentary debate, I had a lot of contact with
17 journalists. There was a break in the middle of June,
18 partly because I broke my shoulder and was away from
19 work. Then I became pretty heavily engaged in the end
20 of the European convention and the European summit that
21 followed it, which needed a lot of preparation.
22 Then while the Foreign Secretary was at the European
23 summit I stayed behind because of my injury, but at that
24 point then started preparation for the Foreign
25 Secretary's own appearances at the Foreign Affairs
1 Committee on 24th and I think 27th June. So at that
2 point we become the focus once again and I begin to get
3 engaged and talk to journalists a lot, who are
4 interested in what the Foreign Secretary may say what
5 our attitude is to this story.
6 Q. We have seen the line that you put out to the press in
7 that short document I took you to earlier. From your
8 own point of view was it important whether or not
9 Mr Gilligan's source was revealed?
11 A. No. One reason for sending those e-mails to
12 Andrew Gilligan and for regarding that piece in the
13 Financial Times as important was it seemed to me, once
14 I went back and checked what actually happened -- I have
15 a certain amount of recollection of last September but
16 it is always best to check -- I did not see how anyone
17 could believe the story to be true because, as it was
18 put in evidence here on Monday, there is a very, very
19 simple explanation as to why this suddenly came up at
20 the end of the process -- the intelligence did not exist
21 before August 30th.
22 And the key point -- I always found this to be quite
23 amazingly simple, but I failed to get this across to the
24 media, I am afraid -- is if it was, as we know, assessed
25 as credible by the Joint Intelligence Committee
1 on September 9th, that is all that happened. That is
2 the simple explanation of why it got into the dossier
3 Q. So finding out the apparent source of Mr Gilligan, as
4 far as you were concerned, was an irrelevance?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. We know that on 30th June Dr Kelly wrote to Mr Wells
7 saying he had spoken to Gilligan. We know also that on
8 4th July Dr Kelly was interviewed, and again on
9 7th July.
10 Now, before Dr Kelly's name became known publicly as
11 the source, which was on 10th July, did you yourself
12 hear anything about a possible identification of someone
13 in the Ministry of Defence as the source of
14 Mr Gilligan's story?
15 A. I first heard about this -- well, I had heard office
16 rumour before then that possibly Dr Kelly may be~-- and
17 had talked of Andrew Gilligan.
18 Q. You said you had heard office rumour --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. -- that Dr Kelly might be the source?
21 A. Yes. In fact, to be precise about it, the person who
22 told me that was Tim Dowse, who is Patrick Lamb's
23 immediate boss, the Head of Counter Proliferation.
24 I have tried to recall when that was, but it was such
25 a casual corridor conversation, I cannot place it in a
1 meeting or in at an event.
2 Q. That is often when you get the best information, of
4 A. Of course.
5 Q. Can you recall roughly when this took place, this casual
6 conversation with Mr Dowse?
7 A. It seems to me it was something like a couple of weeks
8 before the weekend where the interviews were taking
10 Q. That could be possibly 23rd June, round about that time?
11 A. It could have been. I am trying to think when I had my
12 week off with this shoulder. I cannot even place it
13 before or after that. It is somewhere back there.
14 Q. It would be certainly towards the latter end of June
15 rather than beginning of July?
16 A. It could even have been early June, I just cannot
18 Q. And what about subsequently? Did you hear any further
20 A. Well, on the morning of 7th June, a Monday, I went with
21 the Foreign Secretary --
22 Q. 7th June or 7th July?
23 A. Sorry, 7th July. I went with the Foreign Secretary to
24 No. 10, where we were going to discuss our immediate
25 response to the Foreign Affairs Committee report which
1 was coming out that morning. As we gathered round the
2 table just to discuss that -- which was obviously a very
3 pressing matter for me, and for the Foreign Secretary as
4 he was in the lead -- he was sitting down next to
5 Alastair Campbell, we were taking our seats, I was not
6 next to them, but I heard Alastair mention something
7 about an MoD source; and I assumed from that that
8 someone had been identified.
9 Q. But you did not hear the name at that point?
10 A. I am pretty sure the name was not mentioned.
11 Q. On 7th July were you given any correspondence or
12 documentation relating to this issue?
13 A. When I got back to my office I then found, in fact, at
14 the top of my in tray was the correspondence to which,
15 it became clear to me then, they were referring which
16 was that there had been some interviews with an
17 individual. I think -- I believe it has been submitted
18 to the Inquiry -- that correspondence merely refers to
19 "an individual", I do not think it refers to Dr Kelly.
20 Q. It may well have been submitted to the Inquiry. What we
21 have not seen, as it were, is the correspondence which
22 shown to you identified as such. Would you be able to
23 reproduce that for us?
24 A. I can send it to you; but, from memory, it is
25 Michael Jay received something from Kevin Tebbit.
1 Q. Right.
2 A. Michael Jay being the foreign --
3 Q. It is perfectly possible it is amongst all the papers we
4 have got. If you could make an effort to identify in
5 terms what you saw.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. When you saw this correspondence, what was your reaction
8 to it?
9 A. I do not recall having a reaction because -- it may seem
10 odd in retrospect now we know what followed, but on that
11 morning I was engaged in a pretty heavy duty piece of
12 media work which, if you remember, the Foreign Affairs
13 Committee, which was the Committee which had heard the
14 evidence from Andrew Gilligan and Alastair Campbell in
15 a very dramatic session. Its report was a mixture of
16 support for the Government's position and criticism of
17 the Government's position. As I say, Jack Straw was the
18 lead Minister, so he had media work to do; and I was
19 taking calls relating to that.
20 Q. You had to make sure the pro parts of the FAC report got
22 A. I was not pushing the anti parts, no.
23 Q. Now, did any journalists approach you on 7th July,
24 asking about the source of the Gilligan story?
25 A. 7th? (Pause). I do not recall any on the 7th, no.
1 Q. What about the 8th July, Tuesday 8th?
2 A. On 8th July, Tom Baldwin from The Times rung me. He was
3 under the impression this was an FCO official and wanted
4 to see if I could arrange for him to talk to The Times,
5 which obviously I could not do.
6 Q. Did anyone else approach on 8th July?
7 A. I do not believe on the 8th. I should stress I do not
8 keep a log of calls and I receive many, many calls; but
9 I obviously have thought a lot about this, and I do not
10 believe on the 8th.
11 Q. What about 9th July?
12 A. On 9th July the Foreign Secretary was speaking in the
13 Commons on Europe and when I got back, which would be
14 mid afternoon, I received a call from The Independent
15 and from The Guardian.
16 Q. Who were the journalists concerned?
17 A. Don MacIntyre on The Independent then Ewan MacAskill on
18 The Guardian. Then James Blitz(?) from the FT. These
19 were spaced out during an afternoon in which I was -- I
20 cannot remember what I was preoccupied with, but I was
21 doing something but I was realising that there was
22 a major media hunt going on, if I can put it that way.
23 Q. Were these calls all in the afternoon, as far as you
25 A. Yes, all in the afternoon.
1 Q. What sort of time in the afternoon did they start coming
2 in roughly?
3 A. I would say mid afternoon.
4 Q. 3 o'clock?
5 A. Probably, yes.
6 Q. You have Don MacIntyre, Ewan MacAskill ringing you up.
7 Did you take the calls yourself, or did someone else
8 take the calls?
9 A. I work in the same office as my secretary and she would
10 just have said, "It is Don for you", "It is Ewan for
12 Q. What was your response to their questions?
13 A. I said I could not help them. Well, the reason they
14 were ringing me was that they were under the impression
15 that it was a Foreign Office official they were looking
16 for --
17 Q. Did they say anything else?
18 A. Well, I do not recall in detail, but, just to recall, it
19 was the evening before that the MoD statement had been
20 made, so that on the Wednesday people were really trying
21 very hard to get this name. And Don and Ewan both rang,
22 to my recollection, believing it was a Foreign Office
23 official, and I said: Look it is not a Foreign Office
24 official, because I did not see why Foreign Office
25 officials, for instance like Patrick Lamb, who might
1 have been speculated about...
2 Q. Yes. What did you say in response to their questions?
3 You just said: it is not a Foreign Office official?
4 A. Yes, and then: I cannot help you. I am perfectly polite
5 because we talk a lot, but...
6 Q. Why do you say "I cannot help you" rather than trying to
7 give some assistance?
8 A. I do not know. There was nothing I could do to help
10 Q. Did you, yourself, have any idea who it might be?
11 A. I did, yes.
12 Q. So, if I could ask the question again: Why is it that
13 you decided not to give any help?
14 A. I imagine because it was not for me to do so. It was
15 being dealt with internally by the MoD. That was the
16 view I had taken from that moment on the Monday morning
17 when I realised that they were interviewing somebody.
18 I think it would be very odd if, in those circumstances,
19 I had gone and told the media something without talking
20 to the MoD about it.
21 Q. Would you have regarded it as usual even for the MoD to
22 reveal this information?
23 A. Well, I have listened to the evidence sessions today on
24 this, and I forget who said it, I think it was
25 Bryan Wells. This was not just a very unusual
1 situation; I cannot think of a situation like this.
2 This was an enormous controversy and there was the most
3 intense media activity around it.
4 Q. All on a point you thought was irrelevant?
5 A. No -- well, I thought it was very relevant to
6 demonstrate to the media that the story was not true,
7 but that demonstration did not depend on identifying the
8 source. I can imagine circumstances in which the only
9 way you can demonstrate a story is not true is by
10 saying: here is the source. But that was not the case
11 here because the facts themselves were so simple.
12 Q. Did you, yourself, at any point, speak to the MoD press
14 A. I eventually did because I was rung at around about
15 6~o'clock, again, by the Financial Times.
16 Q. Who was the Financial Times?
17 A. That was James Blitz(?) again. One of his colleagues,
18 Chris Adams, had already rung a couple of Foreign Office
19 officials -- that is not press officers, but other
20 officials, and they had told me that he was putting
21 Dr Kelly's name to them. They had just said: look, you
22 have got to ring John Williams about this. So James
23 then rang me and I, again, said: Look, this is not for
25 Q. So, in other words, when the name itself came out you
1 said: not for me, I am not telling you?
2 A. Yes. Then I rang the MoD press office to say: You
3 should know that the Financial Times, if they have not
4 done already, is going to put a name to you, but they
5 already had done so.
6 LORD HUTTON: Can I just take you back a little,
7 Mr Williams, where you said there was no need here to
8 identify a source because the facts were so simple?
9 Suppose you had a case where there was a very
10 considerable controversy and very great media interest
11 and the matter could only be explained to the public and
12 to the media by naming a civil servant, what would be
13 your view as to the propriety of that course?
14 I appreciate it obviously depends very much on the
15 circumstances, but are you able to assist me as to what
16 your view would be?
17 A. I can take a guess at it. Actually the thing I find --
18 I used to be journalist, and the great difference
19 between being a journalist and doing this is that you
20 have to make active decisions without hindsight, which
21 is actually why the job is enjoyable and challenging.
22 I think, in those circumstances, I would say to the
23 individual concerned, after the usual personnel
24 disciplinary procedures, or whatever would have been
25 gone through, that: I think we need to do this, and we
1 need to sit down and discuss how to do it.
2 I think I would probably have advised such an
3 official in that position that, having experience of
4 both sides of this business, that I would be convinced
5 that the media would get the name in the end, and it
6 would be much more dignified simply to say: it is me.
7 LORD HUTTON: I see, yes.
8 A. But that is -- you know, hindsight is a wonderful
10 LORD HUTTON: Yes. Thank you.
11 MR KNOX: In your experience, has the FCO press office ever
12 named an individual civil servant in response to
13 a request from a journalist?
14 A. I did once actually -- I may have done more than once,
15 but I remember an occasion where it was very
16 unfortunately that a speech by Peter Haine had been
17 issued before we had really got used to this technology
18 that we now use; and I think the BBC had managed to do
19 a -- they had followed the track in changes, where a lot
20 of recommendations to, I think, tone down the language
21 had been made by an official whose initials were there,
22 and they asked me who the official was and I told them
23 because it seems to me undignified if you~--
24 Q. The official's initials were already there anyway?
25 A. Still -- people could not guess. They did not know who
1 the official was; but, as I say, these are unique
2 circumstances that we are in. I do not think any other
3 circumstances are like this. Starting from the dossier.
4 The dossier was unique.
5 Q. The official in the example you gave, had he been warned
6 in advance?
7 A. I cannot recall. I mean, this is an example that has
8 just occurred to me sitting here today listening.
9 Q. Can I ask you to look at CAB/1/235? This is an extract
10 from a No. 10 press briefing on 21st July. If you look
11 down the page --
12 A. Do you know which briefing this is, at what stage of
14 Q. It is 21st July 2003, so it is after Dr Kelly's death?
15 A. Okay.
16 Q. I am not sure if it is the 11 o'clock or 3.45?
17 A. I am not sure if it was that week or another point.
18 Q. It is 21st July, so after the event. I just wanted to
19 ask you to comment, from your own knowledge, on
20 something that is said towards the foot of the page
21 about various procedures.
22 If you go about say 10 lines or so up from the
23 bottom of the page, maybe a bit more, 12 lines up there
24 is a sentence beginning:
25 "That said..."
1 Do you see that?
2 A. Hmm, hmm.
3 Q. "That said, the key point in all this was the fact that
4 relatively few people worked in Dr Kelly's area. There
5 had therefore been a strong likelihood that suspicion
6 would fall unfairly onto others. Asked who had made the
7 decision to confirm Dr Kelly's name, the PMOS said that
8 the matter had been handled in accordance with MoD
9 procedures and had been overseen by those at the top of
10 the MoD in view of the fact that it [had] been the lead
12 Just pause there for a moment.
13 Are you able to help us with the phrase that "the
14 matter had been handled in accordance with MoD
15 procedures"? Are you aware of any MoD procedures for
16 revealing names to the public?
17 A. No, I mean I am not from the MoD. I have never worked
18 at the MoD.
19 Q. It continues:
20 "Asked if the decision would have had to be approved
21 at Ministerial level, the PMOS said it would have been
22 approved in accordance with MoD procedures. The
23 Department itself had already made its position clear.
24 Pressed about Geoff Hoon's role, the PMOS referred
25 journalists to the MoD for an explanation of its
2 Does the Foreign Office press office have any
3 procedures for making names of civil servants known to
4 the public?
5 A. I am not aware of any, no.
6 Q. And are you aware of the MoD having any ... in all
8 A. No, but I would not be. I mean, I just would not be
9 aware of MoD procedures on anything.
10 Q. You mentioned concern about Mr Gilligan's report at the
11 Foreign Office and the press office, was there any
12 similar concern about the reports by Ms Susan Watts of
13 Newsnight put out on 2nd June?
14 A. I did not pick up on this for quite a long time.
15 Q. Was there any concern that you became aware of?
16 A. No, because, I mean, I would have -- someone would have
17 referred to me. They would have said: have you seen
18 this Susan Watts story? And I had not noticed it. I am
19 not a great watcher of Newsnight, it is a bit late for
21 Q. No, but presumably you would hear about concerns.
22 A. I would, and looking back now it surprises me that
23 I never registered that at the time.
24 Q. Likewise, Mr Hewitt put out a piece on 29th May saying,
25 in relation to the dossier, "No. 10 spin on it".
1 A. Hmm.
2 Q. Again, were any concerns registered about that at all?
3 A. No. I did notice in the evidence that they all gave
4 over the last couple of days how much more cautious the
5 phrasing of Susan Watts and Gavin Hewitt's reports were.
6 Q. Is there any other information that you know of which
7 may be relevant to the circumstances of Dr Kelly's
9 A. I have noticed, during the week, that you have
10 questioned people about three meetings which I was
11 present at. These are meetings of September 5th, 9th
12 and 17th on the preparation of the dossier. On the
13 meetings of the 5th and the 9th chaired by
14 Alastair Campbell, the subject for discussion was: the
15 Prime Minister has said we will now have a dossier --
16 logistically, practically, how will it be done? And it
17 was commissioned from John Scarlett. And the 17th,
18 I then went away for a week to New York with the Foreign
19 Secretary and came back and looked at the dossier with
20 the assessment staff at a meeting chaired by Julian
21 Miller, with the knowledge of the Foreign Secretary,
22 John Scarlett and Alastair Campbell.
23 And the spirit of the meeting was that I was to
24 approach their work as if I were an extremely hostile
25 and critical, sceptical journalist, so that I could tell
1 them what weaknesses there were, what could not be
2 sustained. In other words, it was to sex down, not up.
3 I cannot recall anything being taken out, because it was
4 actually a very solid piece of work.
5 And I would just like to stress Alastair Campbell,
6 the Foreign Secretary, they know my approach to media
7 work which is very, very cautious, and if there is any
8 doubt about the validity of a statement or fact or
9 a figure do not use it.
10 Q. I must admit I was not aware that you personally had
11 been involved in these meetings. But if all this was as
12 straightforward as all that, why was not the
13 Government's response to Mr Gilligan's piece simply to
14 reveal the respective drafts of the dossier?
15 A. I do not know. I mean, those were not decisions for me.
16 Q. It would have been the easiest thing in the world, would
17 it not?
18 A. I am sorry, I cannot answer that.
19 MR KNOX: Thank you very much indeed, Mr Williams.
20 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much indeed, Mr Williams.
21 Mr Dingemans.
22 MR DINGEMANS: My Lord, that concludes the evidence for this
24 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much for keeping to the
25 timetable. That is a remarkable feat. So we will rise
1 now and sit again on Monday on 10.30 am.
2 (4.12 pm)
3 (Hearing adjourned until 10.30 am on Monday
4 18th August 2003)
3 DR BRYAN WELLS (called) .......................... 1
5 Examined by MR DINGEMANS ..................... 1
7 MR PATRICK LAMB (called) ......................... 98
9 Examined by MR KNOX .......................... 98
11 MR MARTIN HOWARD (called) ........................ 122
13 Examined by MR DINGEMANS ..................... 122
15 MR JOHN WILLIAMS (called) ........................ 161
17 Examined by MR KNOX .......................... 161