1 A. No, none whatsoever. 2 Q. And is there anything else you would like
3 A. No.
4 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much, Air Marshall.
5 Do you want me to rise now, Mr Dingemans?
6 MR DINGEMANS: Yes. I am sorry, we have finished a wee bit
8 LORD HUTTON: We will sit again at 2 o'clock.
9 (12.45 pm)
10 (The short adjournment)
11 (2.00 pm)
12 SIR RICHARD BILLING DEARLOVE (called)
13 Examined by MR DINGEMANS
14 LORD HUTTON: Good afternoon Sir Richard. I hope you can
15 hear me clearly.
16 A. Yes, I can my Lord.
17 MR DINGEMANS: Can you tell his Lordship your full name and
19 A. Richard Billing Dearlove. I am the Chief of the Secret
20 Intelligence Service popularly known as MI6.
21 Q. How long have you held that position?
22 A. Since 1st August 1999.
23 Q. Very briefly what was your career before that?
24 A. Before that I was an officer, in the service since 1966.
25 Q. Can I ask you about the intelligence leading up to the
1 45 minutes claim. When did you first become aware of
3 A. Can I just say, you use the word "claim"; I think
4 I would prefer to refer to it as a piece of well sourced
6 Q. Right. When did you first become aware of this well
7 sourced piece of intelligence?
8 A. It first came to my attention when it was reported
9 towards the end of August. I think the precise date is
10 29th August.
11 Q. And what was the process which this intelligence
12 underwent after it was reported?
13 A. Well, the normal SIS procedure would be to put this into
14 what we call a CX report and send it out to customers
15 who would be on the distribution, normal distribution
16 for this type of intelligence.
17 Q. In the Foreign Affairs Committee report at FAC/3/26 we
18 can see, at paragraph 62, that the Foreign and
19 Commonwealth Office had told the Committee that the
20 intelligence on which the claim was based came from "an
21 established, reliable and long-standing line of
22 reporting". Can you comment on that?
23 A. Well, I can except I would not normally comment in
24 public on the status of an SIS source; but a certain
25 amount of this is already in the public domain.
1 Q. I am only seeking comments that are already in the
2 public domain.
3 A. Yes, it did come from an established and reliable source
4 equating a senior Iraqi military officer who was
5 certainly in a position to know this information.
6 Q. That is at the end of August. On 3rd September we have
7 heard that the Prime Minister announced his intention to
8 publish a dossier in relation to intelligence. What was
9 the first you knew about the proposed publication?
10 A. As far as I recall, David -- well, I had known of plans
11 to publish for some considerable time. In terms of this
12 project as it was announced, David Manning, the
13 Prime Minister's foreign affairs adviser, called me on
14 the morning of 4th September to discuss this.
15 Q. Sir Richard, I am not sure if you are moving to or from
16 your microphone because I cannot see you. It sounds as
17 if you are. Do you think you can speak a little more
18 closely to your microphone?
19 A. I can. I will pull it closer towards me.
20 Q. Did you have any comment about the proposed publication
21 of intelligence material?
22 A. Yes, I certainly did. I discussed with David Manning to
23 what extent it would be possible to put intelligence
24 from my service into the public domain; and I said that
25 I thought it would be possible to put some of this in
1 the public domain, but that I would insist on grounds of
2 source protection on having the last word in withholding
3 material from publication, if necessary.
4 Q. And was that agreed?
5 A. Yes, it certainly was.
6 Q. As a result of your position, are you a member of any
7 Cabinet Office Committees?
8 A. Yes, I am a full member of the Joint Intelligence
9 Committee, as are all the heads of the agencies. That
10 is the Director General of the Security Service and the
11 Director of GCHQ.
12 Q. Did you attend any Joint Intelligence Committee meetings
13 relating to the drafting of the dossier?
14 A. Yes, I certainly did. I think that the two key meetings
15 I attended were on the 11th and 18th of September; and
16 there was also another important JIC meeting at which
17 Iraqi issues were discussed on 4th September.
18 Q. Can you help me with 4th September? Was there any
19 mention of the dossier and drafting of the dossier about
20 which the Prime Minister had made his announcement the
21 day before?
22 A. I do not recall specifically whether the dossier was
23 actually discussed at that meeting. I do not think it
24 was a formal item.
25 Q. We know that the intelligence that you have referred to
1 relating to the 45 minutes source formed part of a JIC
2 assessment. If we look at CAB/17/3 we can see the draft
3 of 5th September and then of 9th September. Were these
4 drafts considered at the JIC meeting on 4th September
5 before being finalised?
6 A. What happened was on 4th September it was clear that
7 there was a certain amount of new material produced by
8 my service which had not arrived in time to be included
9 in the original draft that was put together. I think,
10 as far as I recall, I recommended that the draft be
11 reworked to take account of this new material.
12 Q. Was that on 4th September?
13 A. The discussion was on 4th September. A new draft,
14 I think, was then put together and circulated to JIC
15 members, because there were quite a few changes, on
16 5th September and the resulting assessment was issued on
17 the 9th.
18 Q. We can see that at CAB/17/3.
19 A. Yes. Yes. And, in fact, what we are looking at there
20 is a change in the drafting, which I think was
21 recommended by my staff to ensure that the inclusion of
22 intelligence on 45 minutes reflected more accurately the
23 wording of the original CX report -- CX is the phrase we
24 use to refer to the intelligence reports produced by
1 Q. On 10th September, at CAB/33/131, Mr Scarlett produced
2 a memorandum commenting on Alastair Campbell's note of
3 9th September, in which he said this in paragraph 1:
4 "Alastair did not refer to an additional section,
5 which I have agreed with him, would be considered for
6 inclusion in the 'dossier'. This would give an account
7 of the JIC assessment of developments in Iraqi WMD
8 programmes since UNSCOM inspectors were withdrawn in
9 late 1998."
10 Did that reflect any discussions you had had amongst
11 members of the JIC?
12 A. Well, it was certainly my strong view that if there was
13 to be a section which drew heavily on intelligence, that
14 this should be under the control of the JIC; and I was
15 aware, from the attendance of SIS staff at meetings in
16 No. 10 before that was written, of what was intended.
17 Q. The dossier, or the next draft of the dossier is dated
18 10th/11th September 2002. We can see that at DOS/2/2.
19 A. Okay.
20 Q. And I think you have the material available to you. At
21 DOS/2/37, we can see what was then said about the
22 45 minute source:
23 "Within the last month intelligence has suggested
24 that the Iraqi military would be able to use their
25 chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes of an
1 order to do so."
2 Did you see the dossier drafted on 10th or
3 11th September?
4 A. Yes, I certainly would have done, in preparation for the
5 JIC meeting that took place on 11th September. I mean,
6 it is normal practice for me to be closely briefed by my
7 staff before attending the full JIC meeting; and, in
8 fact, the process of putting together the dossier was
9 covered very closely on a day-to-day basis by the team
10 that I had working on it. Although it is some time ago
11 and I do not have a precise recollection of every
12 exchange, I was kept closely involved.
13 Q. Was there any discussion of the draft dossier on
14 11th September?
15 A. At the JIC meeting?
16 Q. Yes, sorry, at the JIC meeting.
17 A. Yes. There certainly was.
18 Q. What was the nature of that discussion?
19 A. As far as I recall, it was how to incorporate into the
20 dossier the previous JIC judgments on Iraqi WMD and the
21 addition to that picture of any new intelligence that
22 might be available.
23 Q. Was there any unhappiness expressed at the JIC meeting
24 in relation to the dossier and the drafting process?
25 A. No, I do not think there was. I mean, there was obvious
1 concern on my part, as the chief of the service, that
2 the fact of moving in the direction of publication
3 should take full account of our concerns on issues of
4 operational security.
5 Q. And at that stage had anyone mentioned any comments on
6 the 45 minute section of the dossier which had been
7 included for the draft of the 11th September JIC
9 A. No, they certainly had not. I think it is worth me
10 adding that when we circulate a report there is
11 a procedure by which any reader can comment on the
12 report or question its contents; and that is a mechanism
13 that is frequently used. The circulation of the report
14 that included the piece about 45 minutes did not evoke
15 any comment from customers at all.
16 Q. After the 11th September meeting there were new drafts
17 of the dossier prepared on 16th September, together with
18 a draft foreword which we have heard evidence was
19 prepared by Mr Campbell with the Prime Minister's
20 approval and comments and an executive summary which
21 I think was prepared for Mr Scarlett. Can I take you,
22 first of all, to the foreword? That is at CAB/11/38.
23 A. Yes. Can I just -- I am just turning that one up. Yes,
24 we have it.
25 Q. You can see "Foreword". Felicity Hatfield on
1 16th September.
2 If you go to page 40, towards the end of the
3 foreword it says this at the top:
4 "Intelligence reports make clear that he sees the
5 possession of WMD as vital to his strategic internal of
6 regional domination. And the document discloses that
7 his military planning allows for some of the WMD to be
8 ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them."
9 That was the foreword. If we go to the executive
10 summary, which is at CAB/11/141 --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- we see over the page at the top:
13 "Has military plans for the use of chemical and
14 biological weapons, some of which could be ready within
15 45 minutes of an order to use them. Saddam and his son
16 Qusay have the political authority to authorise the use
17 of these weapons."
18 Can I take you to DOS/2/58, which was the dossier
19 part or the main part of the dossier dated
20 16th September 2002. We can see that in the top
21 right-hand corner. We get the 45 minute source at
22 DOS/2/72 at the bottom:
23 "The Iraqi military may be able to deploy chemical
24 or biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to
25 do so."
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you pick up any differences or inconsistencies
3 between the foreword and the executive summary, on one
4 side, and the main text of the dossier on the other?
5 A. My understanding is that these were discussed in the
6 drafting committee and in fact I was briefed for the JIC
7 meeting on 17th September. My reaction was that all of
8 these statements are in fact, despite the differences of
9 nuances, they are consistent with the original
10 intelligence report.
11 Q. The meeting on 17th September, was that a full JIC
13 A. Yes, it was a full JIC meeting.
14 Q. Are you sure about the date? We have had one on
15 4th September, one on the 11th. I think we heard from
16 another witness --
17 A. Yes, I am sorry, it is the 18th. It is the 18th. My
19 Q. Was this considered on the 18th September in committee?
20 A. Yes, it was, at the end of the meeting, as far as
21 I recall.
22 Q. We have seen a number of memoranda that were produced on
23 17th September, one from Mr Campbell, which was
24 CAB/11/66, and he introduces it by saying:
25 "Please find below a number of drafting points. As
1 I was writing this, the Prime Minister had a read of the
2 draft ... and he too made a number of points."
3 Then some specific general comments are made. More
4 detailed comments are made later on in the memorandum.
5 We know that there was a reply to that memorandum by
6 Mr Scarlett on 18th September. That is CAB/11/70. We
7 can see the first page of that there. Did you see
8 Mr Campbell's memorandum?
9 A. I did not see that memorandum; but in fact I was aware,
10 from my senior officer who was working on the drafting,
11 that there had been, for example, a debate over the
12 amount of time it might take the Iraqis to develop
13 a nuclear weapon; and I know that there was, let us say,
14 a rigorous response to questions in terms of sticking
15 with the original intelligence in recording those issues
16 in the dossier.
17 Q. We are not interested in any disputes beyond the
18 45 minutes source because that was what Dr Kelly appears
19 to have commented on. Were you aware of any commentary
20 in relation to the 45 minute point, at this stage?
21 A. When you say any commentary, any commentary exactly --
22 Q. Any commentary from Defence Intelligence Staff, for
24 A. No, I was not.
25 Q. Was that raised at all at the JIC meeting on
1 18th September?
2 A. Not that I can recall. It was not raised.
3 Q. After the meeting on 18th September, was there another
4 JIC meeting at which the dossier was considered before
6 A. No. The last formal meeting of the JIC at which it was
7 considered was the 18th.
8 Q. Do you know whether or not it was considered by your
9 service after 18th September?
10 A. Yes. After the JIC meeting I met the senior officer
11 involved in the drafting committee and expressed to him
12 satisfaction from the SIS point of view at the state of
13 the draft at that stage. He then had authority
14 delegated from me to agree the dossier but subject to
15 the fact that there were no further what I would
16 describe as substantive changes in the text.
17 Q. From what you have seen of the draft which you
18 considered on 18th September and the draft as published,
19 did you consider that there had been any substantive
20 changes in the text?
21 A. No, I do not think after that there were substantive
22 changes that changed it significantly.
23 Q. We know that the wording in the dossier, the
24 inconsistency or apparent inconsistency between the
25 executive summary and the foreword having been pointed
1 out, we know that the wording of the dossier was
2 strengthened to mirror that within the foreword and the
3 executive summary. Did you know of that at the time?
4 A. I was aware what the final version was going to be, yes.
5 Q. And how were you made aware of the final version?
6 A. Well, by talking to my -- I had copies of it, plus the
7 amount of contact I had with those SIS staff working on
8 the dossier.
9 Q. We have heard from Sir Joe French this morning about
10 some silent procedure for final authorisation of the
11 dossier. Is that your recollection?
12 A. My recollection -- yes, it is normal practice in the JIC
13 that a final JIC assessment can be, as it were, signed
14 off under that procedure.
15 Q. On 19th September 2002 at MoD/22/1 we know that
16 a memorandum was produced in which some comments were
17 made about the wording of the dossier. This appears to
18 have been distributed internally within the Defence
19 Intelligence Staff. Would you have seen that at the
21 A. No, I certainly would not have seen it.
22 Q. We have been told that the wording of this in
23 intelligence circles is quite strong in terms of
24 expressing unhappiness with the wording of the draft
25 form of dossier. Is that a fair reflection?
1 A. Well, I think it is a fair reflection of the way that
2 the DIS approach such drafts and were very careful in
3 the words that they used.
4 Q. And we have seen, now, another memorandum which is dated
5 20th September at CAB/33/114.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Which I think you have got a copy of?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Which again deals with those matters, but also deals
10 with the 45 minutes order. It said this at the bottom
11 of the page:
12 "A similar statement appears in the dossier. This
13 is reported as fact whereas the intelligence comes from
14 a single source. In my view the intelligence warrants
15 no stronger a statement than 'intelligence suggests that
16 military planning allows...'"
17 Did you agree with that? First of all, did you see
18 this memorandum at any time before this Inquiry?
19 A. No, I did not. I have to say I am rather bemused by the
20 sentence "this is reported as fact whereas the
21 intelligence comes from a single source". It rather
22 implies that a single source cannot report a fact.
23 I mean, if I can add to that.
24 Q. Yes, of course.
25 A. CX reports as produced by my service are essentially
1 single source; and much high quality intelligence which
2 is factual or proved to be factual is single source
3 material. So I do not really understand that comment.
4 Q. Were you aware of any unhappiness with the 45 minutes
5 point within your service?
6 A. No, I certainly was not.
7 LORD HUTTON: Sir Richard, could we just go back a little,
8 please, to the final draft? You said that you delegated
9 to one of your officers the signing off of the draft
10 provided there were no substantive changes in it. Did
11 you in fact see a copy of the final draft? Was it
12 circulated to you or was it the earlier draft of
13 18th September which you saw?
14 A. I would have seen a final draft, my Lord.
15 LORD HUTTON: Yes. Yes. Thank you.
16 MR DINGEMANS: Did you have any personal contact with
17 Dr Kelly at all before his death?
18 A. No, I did not.
19 Q. Did your service have any contact with Dr Kelly?
20 A. Yes, my service did have contact with Dr Kelly.
21 Q. Are you able to tell us what the nature of that contact
23 A. Well, as a leading WMD specialist with particular
24 knowledge of chemical and biological programmes in Iraq,
25 he was in touch, from time to time, with people in SIS
1 dealing with the same issues.
2 Q. Was anyone as far as you know aware of his views on the
3 dossier in September 2002?
4 A. No, I do not think that they were.
5 Q. Can I take you to a document which is CAB/3/21. This is
6 an e-mail that appears to come up through Defence
7 Intelligence Staff, so not through your service, talking
8 about Dr Kelly and a specific comment that he makes in
9 relation to growth media. There is then a further
10 comment at the end:
11 "The existing wording is not wrong -- but it has
12 a [someone has suggested] lot of spin on it."
13 That was apparently made by the person who made the
14 e-mail. Were you aware of any of those type of views
15 being expressed about the dossier at the time?
16 A. No, I certainly was not.
17 Q. Can I take you to another document which is CAB/23/15,
18 which I think you will find in the prepenultimate page
19 in the bundle you are working from.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This is an e-mail that was sent round on
22 11th September 2002 saying that the first draft of the
23 dossier has been received back. There are further
24 questions and areas they would like expanded. Then the
25 main comments are set out. It said this at the end:
1 "I appreciate everyone, us included, has been around
2 at least some of these buoys before, particularly
3 item 4. But No. 10 through the Chairman want the
4 document to be as strong as possible within the bounds
5 of available intelligence. This is therefore a last(!)
6 call for any items of intelligence that agencies think
7 can and should be included."
8 Were you aware of this e-mail at the time of the
9 drafting of the dossier?
10 A. Not specifically, no, but I would say that a message
11 like this from the assessment staff is common practice
12 when they are engaged on an important piece of work and
13 it is a signal to my staff to make sure that they have
14 made every effort in the field to collect relevant
15 intelligence in time for the conclusion of a paper being
16 worked on by the JIC.
17 Q. Can I ask you about some criticisms that have been made
18 of the 45 minutes source and take you to FAC/3/28? This
19 is paragraph 69 of a report from the Foreign Affairs
21 A. Hmm.
22 Q. And at the bottom of the page, paragraph 69, they say
23 this, having reported what the Foreign Secretary says:
24 "This answer begs the question why the 45 minutes
25 claim was highlighted by the Prime Minister when he
1 presented the dossier to the House, and why it was given
2 such prominence in the dossier itself, being mentioned
3 no fewer than four times, including in the
4 Prime Minister's foreword and in the executive summary?
5 We have not seen a satisfactory answer to that question.
6 We have been told that the entire document, including
7 the executive summary, was prepared by the Chairman of
8 the JIC, except for the foreword, which he approved. We
9 note with disappointment that we were unable to find out
10 why Mr Scarlett chose to give the 45 minutes claim such
11 prominence, as we have been prevented from questioning
13 Did you consider that the 45 minutes -- and they say
14 "claim" -- was given undue prominence?
15 A. Well, I think given the misinterpretation that was
16 placed on the 45 minutes intelligence, with the benefit
17 of hindsight you can say that is a valid criticism. But
18 I am confident that the intelligence was accurate and
19 that the use made of it was entirely consistent with the
20 original report.
21 LORD HUTTON: Would you just elaborate what you mean by the
22 misinterpretation placed on the 45 minutes claim,
23 Sir Richard?
24 A. (Pause). Well, I think the original report referred to
25 chemical and biological munitions and that was taken to
1 refer to battlefield weapons.
2 I think what subsequently happened in the reporting
3 was that it was taken that the 45 minutes applied, let
4 us say, to weapons of a longer range, let us say just
5 battlefield material.
6 MR DINGEMANS: Can I ask you to comment on paragraphs 108 to
7 112 of the Intelligence and Security Committee report.
8 We do not have that yet scanned in. I think you have
9 a copy of the conclusions from 108 to 112; is that
11 A. Yes, I have.
12 Q. At 108 it is made clear that there were a wide range of
13 departments and agencies commenting on the draft and
14 they say that the dossier was not sexed up by
15 Alastair Campbell or anyone else.
16 At 109 it is said that Alastair Campbell did not
17 chair meetings on intelligence matters.
18 At 110 it is said that the use of the phrase
19 "continued to produce chemical and biological weapons"
20 could give the impression that Saddam was actively
21 producing both chemical and biological weapons and makes
22 comments about the JIC knowledge there.
23 At 111 it deals with the question of whether or not
24 Saddam Hussein was considered a current or imminent
1 With that introduction can I turn to 112 which says:
2 "The dossier was for public consumption and not for
3 experienced readers of intelligence material. The 45
4 minutes claim, included four times, was always likely to
5 attract attention because it was arresting detail that
6 the public had not seen before."
7 It then goes on to say that it was unhelpful to an
8 understanding of the issue. Do you agree with that
10 A. Well, not entirely. But I think I would repeat what
11 I said in answer to the last question. Given the
12 misinterpretation of the original piece of intelligence,
13 particularly as it was not qualified in terms of its
14 relationship to battlefield munitions, this now looks
15 a valid criticism; but I think the intelligence was
16 accurate and that it was put to legitimate use in the
17 drafting process.
18 Q. Can I take you back to the document I think you have at
19 about page 3 of the bundle you have, which is CAB/17/3,
20 extracts from the JIC assessment relating to 45 minutes;
21 then just read to you the extract from the foreword to
22 the dossier. Although I do not ask for this to be
23 called up, it is at DOS/1/59 at the top. It says this:
24 "And the document [i.e. the dossier] discloses that
25 his military planning allows for some of the WMD to be
1 ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them."
2 Do you consider that to have been a fair reflection
3 of the JIC assessments of 5th and 9th September?
4 A. Yes, I think it is.
5 Q. And in what way would you reconcile the two statements?
6 A. (Pause). Can you repeat that question?
7 Q. Certainly. I am sorry you have not got it in front of
9 "And the document [the dossier] discloses that his
10 military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready
11 within 45 minutes of an order to use them."
12 A. I do not quite see what you are driving at in asking me
13 this question, but in fact I think one has to see this
14 piece of intelligence against the background of Iraqi
15 armed forces having in the past used chemical munitions,
16 and this, in that context, not being a surprising piece
17 of intelligence.
18 Q. Can I then, finally, take you to some comments that it
19 is said that Dr Kelly made to Ms Watts? These we have
20 at SJW/1/39 and 40. I think those are at the end of
21 your bundle.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Dr Kelly says this, after being asked about the
24 45 minutes:
25 "Oh that I knew because I knew the concern about the
1 statement -- it was a statement that was made and it
2 just got out of all proportion -- you know someone.
3 They were desperate for information. They were pushing
4 hard for information which could be released."
5 Was that an accurate statement insofar as it has
6 gone, that people were desperate for information and
7 pushing hard for information that could be released?
8 A. No, I do not think it is. Obviously we were keen to
9 collect authoritative intelligence on this problem, but
10 that description of the situation is off the mark.
11 Q. Then he is reported as having said this:
12 "That was one that popped up and it was seized on
13 and it was unfortunate that it was which is why there is
14 this argument between the Intelligence Services and
15 Cabinet Office/Number Ten, because things were picked up
16 on, and once they've picked up on it you can't pull it
17 back, that's the problem."
18 Was that an accurate reflection of what was going on
19 in September 2002?
20 A. No, it absolutely was not. Do recall what I said
21 earlier, that when this report was circulated and
22 distributed on 29th August it evoked no comment at all,
23 particularly from the readers in the DIS.
24 Q. And if I can go over the page to SJW/1/40:
25 "So it wasn't as if there were lots of people saying
1 don't put it in don't put it in. It's just it was in
2 there and was seized upon -- rather than Number Ten
3 specifically going against?"
4 Dr Kelly is recorded as having said this:
5 "There were lots of people saying that -- I mean it
6 was an interesting week before the dossier was put out
7 because there were so many things in there that people
8 were saying well, we're not so sure about that, or in
9 fact they were happy with it being in but not expressed
10 the way that it was, because you know the wordsmithing
11 is actually quite important, and the intelligence
12 community are a pretty cautious lot on the whole but
13 once you get people putting it/presenting it for public
14 consumption then of course they use different words.
15 I don't think they're being wilfully dishonest, I think
16 they just think that that's the way the public will
17 appreciate it best. I'm sure you have the same problem
18 as a journalist..."
19 Would you say that was in hindsight, now you know of
20 the use that was made of the 45 minutes source, do you
21 think that was an accurate comment?
22 A. Absolutely not. Can I also say in respect of this
23 recorded conversation here?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. As chief of the service, I am shocked to see someone
1 discussing one of our CX reports, which is what he is
2 discussing, with a journalist without authorisation.
3 Q. I appreciate he was not within your specific area, which
4 is why I have not asked you about it, but what would
5 your reaction have been to finding out about these
7 A. That it is a serious breach of discipline.
8 Q. What was the last contact between Dr Kelly and your
10 A. I believe that the last occasion on which Dr Kelly
11 visited Vauxhall Cross was in January 2003.
12 Q. Had he been involved with your service in relation to
13 the preparation of the dossier? We have heard about his
14 involvement with the Defence Intelligence Staff.
15 A. Not at all, as far as I am aware.
16 Q. Is there anything else relating to the circumstances of
17 Dr Kelly's death that you can assist his Lordship with?
18 A. No, I do not think there is. But I think the only one
19 point I would like to make in relation to our earlier
20 discussion, I reported to my directors I think on
21 19th September that we had had full visibility of the
22 process of preparing the dossier and that the whole
23 process had gone extremely well.
24 Q. And did you do anything after the publication of the
25 dossier to record that?
1 A. Yes, I did. At the JIC meeting, I think on
2 25th September --
3 Q. Yes, we have heard there is one on the 18th, so it must
4 be the 25th.
5 A. -- I proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman on behalf
6 of the JIC members for the way in which he and the
7 assessment staff had conducted a difficult exercise and
8 the integrity with which it had been done, and it was
9 done spontaneously of course.
10 Q. Was the vote of thanks passed?
11 A. Yes, it was.
12 Q. And is there anything else you would like to say?
13 A. No, Mr Dingemans, I think that is all I have got to say.
14 Thank you.
15 MR DINGEMANS: Thank you very much.
16 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much indeed Sir Richard.
17 A. Thank you Lord Hutton.
18 MR DINGEMANS: My Lord we will need two minutes simply to
20 LORD HUTTON: I will rise.
21 (2.42 pm)
22 (Short Break)
23 (2.45 pm)
24 DR RICHARD PETER SCOTT (called)
25 Examined by MR KNOX
1 MR KNOX: My Lord, the next witness is Dr Scott.
2 LORD HUTTON: Yes, thank you.
3 MR KNOX: Could you tell the Inquiry your full name.
4 A. I am Richard Peter Scott.
5 Q. Your occupation?
6 A. I am Director, Science for the Defence Science and
7 Technology Laboratory, an agency of the Ministry of
9 Q. In very brief terms, what does your job involve doing?
10 A. I lead a group of four departments of roughly 450 people
11 involved in various aspects of defence research, mainly
12 in the area of chemical and biological defence.
13 Q. When did you first come to know Dr Kelly?
14 A. I first knew Dr Kelly when he joined Porton Down in
16 Q. Did you work closely with him at all?
17 A. No, I did not, and I have never really known him
19 Q. I understand in March 2000 you became his line manager,
20 is that correct?
21 A. In March 2000 I became the Director of the Chemical and
22 Biological Defence Sector of what was the Defence
23 Evaluation and Research Agency and I was part of
24 Dr Kelly's line management chain. Following a mix-up in
25 an annual report, I took direct line management
1 responsibility for Dr Kelly in July 2000.
2 Q. And what did that involve your doing in relation to
3 Dr Kelly?
4 A. Well, I am responsible for the work he undertakes under
5 secondment, making certain that he is fulfilling his
6 requirement, his duties under his secondment. I am
7 responsible for his career development, his paying
8 conditions and above all his welfare.
9 Q. And you therefore oversaw Dr Kelly's secondment to the
10 Proliferation and Arms Control Unit, is that right?
11 A. Yes, from March -- essentially from July onwards.
12 Q. Was that a secondment of unusual length or was it
13 a normal type of secondment?
14 A. It was a very unusual secondment. I do not know when it
15 started but normally secondments within DERA and DSTL
16 are for a very much shorter period than that, three
17 years or so.
18 Q. How long was Dr Kelly's?
19 A. I cannot tell you precisely when the secondment started.
20 I believe Dr Kelly had effectively worked away from
21 Porton for a large period of his time since just after
22 the first Gulf War.
23 Q. That would be since 1991?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What about Dr Kelly's personnel management? Did DSTL
1 remain responsible for that or was he taken over by the
3 A. He was a DSTL employee so we maintained responsibility
4 for his personnel management.
5 Q. Did that mean you had to do anything for Dr Kelly?
6 A. Certainly did.
7 Q. And, broadly speaking, what was that?
8 A. I used to meet with Dr Kelly on an infrequent basis,
9 four or five times a year when he would visit me at
10 Porton, update me on the work he was undertaking within
11 central MoD and for the FCO. I would then pull together
12 an annual record of achievement and be responsible for
13 setting his pay.
14 Q. Would you liaise with the MoD about this as well?
15 A. I would liaise with the MoD and the FCO.
16 Q. Can you recall when you last met Dr Kelly?
17 A. My diary shows I last met Dr Kelly on 16th April at
18 Porton Down in my office.
19 Q. Can you remember what that was about?
20 A. I think Dr Kelly was -- it was one of his routine visits
21 to Porton Down, where he was briefing me on his
22 activities during his secondment. Therefore we would
23 discuss Iraqi CB weapons. I am pretty certain at that
24 stage we talked about his activities that were planned
25 in support of the Iraq Survey Group. And after that
1 I really cannot give you any more detail. I just cannot
2 recollect it.
3 Q. We know on 8th July in the evening a press announcement
4 was put out --
5 LORD HUTTON: Can I go back a little, Dr Scott. There has
6 been some evidence that Dr Kelly felt dissatisfied with
7 his salary scale. Were you conscious of that? Because
8 he was doing extremely important work and doing a great
9 deal of travelling.
10 A. That is true, my Lord. When I completed his annual
11 report, as I said, I had to pick -- an annual report had
12 gone missing and I just took up the responsibility in
13 July 2000. I filled it in and set his salary.
14 David Kelly, I suppose, in the early autumn of 2000,
15 had come to terms with the fact that DERA had gone away
16 from MoD grades to a competence based levels framework.
17 He had also become aware -- he then became aware that he
18 had been assigned a level in late 1999 and he
19 understood, in a very, very broad way, that this could
20 impact on his pay and conditions.
21 When I am saying all this I think you have to
22 realise that my impression of Dr Kelly was that he was
23 a man who did not actually believe he was a member of
24 either DERA or DSTL, it was an administrative
25 convenience. So therefore he was not fully engaged with
1 his parent organisation. He did not understand the
2 challenges it was facing or the changes it was
3 undergoing, and he certainly was not au fait with the
4 processes. At times it made managing Dr Kelly on
5 a personal management level quite difficult because he
6 was not engaged with the process. And both parts, the
7 organisation and the individual have to be engaged in
8 the process.
9 Having said that, Dr Kelly then decided that he was
10 the wrong level and I have some sympathy with him that
11 his level had been set by others incorrectly. And
12 Dr Kelly wanted that level changed. But we had
13 a process and a timeframe associated with level review;
14 and it was not appropriate to make an exception here
15 because we would have had to have then made exceptions
16 throughout the organisation. So I suggested to Dr Kelly
17 that he should apply for a levels review in the
18 following year, in 2001.
19 MR KNOX: Can I just stop you there Dr Scott. It may help
20 if I take you to one or two documents at this point. If
21 we can call up MoD/3/41.
22 This is a letter from Dr Kelly to you on
23 18th November which I think picks up on one of the
24 points you were making recently.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Would you like to look down the page as it scrolls down
2 and read that to yourself?
3 A. (Pause). That is fine.
4 Q. And this is a letter addressed to you by Dr Kelly?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. He is referring to his campaign to be reviewed and
7 considered for a level 9 grading. Pausing there for
8 a moment, level 9 grading would be the top grading
9 within that --
10 A. Yes. There are only 12 level 9s in the whole of DSTL.
11 Q. And you would be given a level 9 grading on what type of
13 A. It is a competency based framework, so it is associated
14 with the individual. We are looking at a person who
15 operates strategically, who is an international expert
16 who is operating at an incredibly high level, as was
17 Dr Kelly.
18 Q. Dr Kelly in this letter refers to his campaign to be
19 reviewed. That rather suggests he had been trying for
20 some time. Does that sound right?
21 A. No, I think that he became aware of the process and he
22 had now started to engage with the process and he wanted
23 it changed there and then; but the process, the
24 organisation's process had a timescale associated with
25 it, and levels are reviewed and changed at a set time of
1 the year.
2 Q. Just scrolling down this page, you will see towards the
3 foot of the page some handwritten scrawls. I do not
4 know if these are yours or not. If they are, could you
5 say what they are?
6 A. They are not my -- it is not my writing.
7 Q. You do not know what these are about at all?
8 A. I know who Patrick Lamb is and you know who Patrick Lamb
9 is. No, I cannot throw any light on it.
10 Q. If we go now to MoD/3/40 there is a letter which is not
11 a very good copy. It says it is from Martin Earwicker.
12 Do you see that? If you scroll down to the bottom of
13 the page, I think what it says is:
14 "Following my review of the evidence you submitted
15 and our discussion on 7 February, I am pleased to tell
16 you that you have been advanced to Career Level 9.
17 I would like to congratulate you on this significant
18 achievement and to thank you for the very important work
19 you have been undertaking over the last few years."
20 So it looks as if Dr Kelly was promoted to career
21 level 9 on 18th February 2002.
22 A. He was considered as part, as it said, of 2001.
23 Dr Kelly did not engage with the normal DSTL process, so
24 I intervened for Dr Kelly with the human resources
25 section of DSTL, ensured that a late application could
1 be forwarded. I supported that application and he was
2 successful at the review.
3 Q. While we are on the same subject still, MoD/3/39, there
4 is another letter again from Dr Kelly to you. You have
5 mentioned having a discussion with Dr Kelly in the
6 spring of 2003?
7 A. Hmm.
8 Q. This letter appears to be a letter from Dr Kelly
9 questioning whether he is being paid in accordance with
10 his pay rise. Would you like to look at the body of
11 this letter?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You may recall it. As I understand, what he is saying
14 is: I am not quite sure if I have actually received the
15 money I am entitled to receive.
16 A. That is right. I was not clear from looking at this, so
17 I asked David to write to me with the details so I could
18 take it forward with the human resources section in DSTL
19 and get some action taken on it.
20 Q. Do you know if anything was done about this letter and
21 about the points he was raising in it?
22 A. The process was applied properly. David Kelly's pay had
23 been properly assessed. But unfortunately that was not
24 passed back to David Kelly before he unfortunately died.
25 Q. Do I take from that, therefore, that he was being paid
1 £61,038 salary?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And that is all he was supposed to be being paid?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. Can I just move forward now to 8th July? We know in the
6 evening the MoD put out a press announcement saying an
7 individual had come forward who worked in the MoD who
8 had said he had had a meeting with Mr Gilligan. Do you
9 remember hearing about or reading that press
10 announcement on 8th July?
11 A. No, I was not aware of it on 8th July. A colleague of
12 mine mentioned it to me in the morning, said he had seen
13 a Newsnight report. He told me some information and
14 I said to myself: well, that sounds very much like
15 David Kelly.
16 Q. Can we stop there for a moment? At CAB/11/140 we can
17 see one of the things the Newsnight report said.
18 I wonder if you could help us with this. You will see
19 the first thing that is said:
20 "Martha Carney said the individual was an MoD WMD
21 expert paid for by the FCO on Newsnight last night, so
22 she was very quick off the mark."
23 Can you remember if that was what made you think
24 this might be Dr Kelly?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And so that is what you inferred from that. Did you ask
2 for any action to be taken as a result of this?
3 A. I did. I asked DSTL's corporate section to get me
4 a transcript of the programme so I could actually look
5 at it in detail, because you have to remember I did not
6 see the programme. But before that could arrive I had
7 to go to London; and then I read another report in the
8 Independent newspaper which again was consistent with it
9 being Dr Kelly.
10 Q. Can we call up CAB/1/504? This is an extract from the
11 9th July report in the Independent. You will see that
12 the second paragraph refers to:
13 "The MoD said that the middle-ranking official met
14 Mr Gilligan ..."
15 It may be that what would have alerted you most
16 there is towards the end of the page, three paragraphs
18 "The official was an expert on weapons of mass
19 destruction ..."
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. "... who had advised Ministers on the issue and had
22 contributed towards drafts of the historical accounts of
23 UN inspections ..."
24 A. That is right.
25 Q. That was the sentence that made you think: well --
1 A. Again the whole document said this could be David Kelly.
2 Q. When you say it could be David Kelly, did you think it
3 was just a matter of could or most probably was?
4 A. My view was it probably was.
5 Q. You say you were travelling down on the train, you were
6 going to London; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And when you got to London did you meet anyone?
9 A. I immediately sought a meeting with Dr Bryan Wells, who
10 was line manager within CPAC for Dr Kelly's work, that
11 Dr Kelly undertook for them to ask him about this, and
12 he confirmed that Dr Kelly had come forward and admitted
13 to a meeting with Andrew Gilligan.
14 Q. Did he say what else had happened?
15 A. He told me that Dr Kelly had been interviewed by
16 Mr Hatfield and that the outcome of that meeting was
17 that provided Dr Kelly had told the truth, he would be
18 issued with a verbal warning about his inappropriate
19 behaviour, but no other action would be taken.
20 Q. Did you express any concerns to Mr Wells yourself?
21 A. What I said to Mr Wells was: I would have appreciated,
22 Bryan, if you had told me this -- as I was his line
23 manager -- you would have informed me of this activity,
24 as I had a role as his line manager. I asked Mr Wells
25 to keep me informed of any further significant
2 Q. What did Mr Wells say to that?
3 A. He said he would.
4 LORD HUTTON: When you say you were his line manager, it is
5 obviously a somewhat complicated situation. Was it the
6 position that you were the line manager as regards his
7 salary and his general welfare and Dr Wells was his line
8 manager as regards the work he was doing at that time
9 for the MoD?
10 A. That is correct, my Lord.
11 LORD HUTTON: Yes, I see. Yes. Thank you.
12 MR KNOX: After you had had your conversation with Dr Wells,
13 did you do anything else?
14 A. I phoned my secretary and asked her to get in touch with
15 David, so I could set up a meeting with him the next
16 morning, and she did. She arranged this for 9 o'clock
17 the next morning. That was on the 10th.
18 Q. I think if we go to COM/4/83 we can see some indication
19 of that.
20 LORD HUTTON: Was this a meeting at Porton Down?
21 A. That is correct. We arranged for David to come and meet
22 me at Porton Down.
23 MR KNOX: Your secretary is Mrs Morgan, is that right?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. We can see here an e-mail from Dr Kelly sent at 3.37 in
1 the afternoon of 9th July, and I think we can take it
2 for present purposes that this is to Mrs Morgan, this
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. "I have just checked with London and I am free to see
6 Dr Scott at 9.00 tomorrow."
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. On the following day, 10th July, did that meeting take
10 A. No, it did not. At about 9 o'clock or just before we
11 received a telephone conversation from David to say that
12 he could not make the meeting. He said that he had been
13 told by the press office, and I inferred the MoD press
14 office, that his name was likely to become known and
15 that he should leave home to avoid press intrusion.
16 Q. Did you say anything to Dr Kelly?
17 A. Yes, what I said to Dr Kelly was that DSTL would not be
18 taking any disciplinary action of its own; any
19 disciplinary action which would be taken would be that
20 which would be decided by the parent department MoD,
21 knowing what was likely to happen.
22 I also sensed -- I also said to Dr Kelly at that
23 time that DSTL was available to provide pastoral care if
24 required because I do not know why I said it but
25 I sensed that Dr Kelly was upset at having to leave
1 home, not unnaturally, and if we could be of any
2 assistance, I would like to put that forward.
3 LORD HUTTON: Do you know from where he was speaking?
4 A. I think he was speaking from home my Lord, but I could
5 not be certain.
6 MR KNOX: He rang you?
7 A. Yes he did.
8 Q. Can you remember what time it was?
9 A. It was about 9 or just before. I also asked David again
10 to keep me informed of any significant developments.
11 Q. How did Dr Kelly seem to be in this conversation?
12 A. He was calm but, as I say, I sensed that he was under
13 some -- he was under some pressure and that is why
14 I made the offer of pastoral assistance. The reason
15 I say that was because the conversation was very brief.
16 He wanted to get the telephone conversation over and
17 done with, which was not really like David.
18 LORD HUTTON: What did he say when you offered him pastoral
20 A. He did not say anything, my Lord.
21 MR KNOX: Did you have any further contact with Dr Kelly on
22 that day?
23 A. No, I did not.
24 Q. Or any further involvement with the Dr Kelly situation
25 on that day?
1 A. None whatever.
2 LORD HUTTON: May I just ask you: it is very understandable
3 you should offer him this care. I appreciate you just
4 said it to him very quickly. Had you thought at all
5 what that pastoral care might involve?
6 A. No, because I said it in response to the feeling I was
7 getting from the telephone.
8 LORD HUTTON: I appreciate that, yes.
9 A. And it could range from anything like involving the
10 welfare service, providing administrative support in
11 booking hotels or something like that, anything like
13 LORD HUTTON: Yes. Thank you very much.
14 MR KNOX: On the following day, Friday 11th --
15 A. Hmm.
16 Q. -- did you have any involvement with Dr Kelly?
17 A. The only involvement was on the Friday, the 11th,
18 I received a copy of the letter that Mr Hatfield sent to
19 Dr Kelly about his inappropriate behaviour in talking to
20 the press.
21 Q. And you opened it and you read it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. We know that Dr Kelly went to give evidence to the
24 Foreign Affairs Committee on 15th July. Did you know
25 anything about that?
1 A. No, I knew nothing about it. I was in America. I left
2 for America on 14th July, early in the morning.
3 I believed the situation with respect to David Kelly was
4 quite stable at that time, but when I was in America on
5 the Tuesday, a colleague of mine who was at the same
6 meeting from the Defence Intelligence Staff told me that
7 Dr Kelly was going to appear before the Foreign Affairs
8 Select Committee on that day. It came as a shock to me.
9 Q. Did you read any newspaper reports about the matter?
10 A. I read the newspaper reports on the plane on the way
11 home. I was quite shocked by some of the lurid comments
12 that I read, but I got back into office just after
13 midday on the Thursday. I had received no
14 communications about or from David Kelly.
15 Q. You mentioned the lurid comments you read in the press.
16 Roughly what were they?
17 A. You know, there were a number -- couple of the papers
18 equated him to a Harold Shipman lookalike character and
19 things like that. And I think people would have found
20 them quite distressing.
21 Q. Were you aware that Dr Kelly did have contact with the
22 press as part of his job?
23 A. I certainly was. He made no secret of it and he
24 actually highlighted it in his annual reports.
25 Q. Did he talk to you about his contacts with the press?
1 A. Only in general terms, about, you know, that he was
2 called upon to give unattributable briefings, to provide
3 supporting evidence for the Government's policy and
4 position in certain areas, especially on Iraqi chemical
5 and biological weapons and in the area of biological
6 weapons arms control.
7 Q. Dr Kelly said in a letter he wrote to Bryan Wells on
8 30th June that to a certain extent matters were left to
9 his discretion in talking to the press. Were you aware
10 of that?
11 A. I sensed that there was a fair degree of latitude, but
12 I was never involved with the process of clearance for
13 Dr Kelly to talk to the press. That would have been an
14 issue for central MoD, CPAC and the FCO.
15 Q. Did you talk to Dr Kelly again after the discussion you
16 have already mentioned on 10th July?
17 A. No, I did not.
18 Q. And is there anything else you would like to say which
19 you know about which led to the circumstances which
20 brought about Dr Kelly's death?
21 A. No, I do not think so. I was as shocked as anybody
23 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much indeed Dr Scott.
24 A. Thank you.
1 MR GREGORY DYKE (called)
2 Examined by MR DINGEMANS
3 Q. Can you tell his Lordship your full name?
4 A. Gregory Dyke.
5 Q. Your occupation?
6 A. I am the Director General of the BBC.
7 Q. And how long have you been the Director General for?
8 A. Since February 2000.
9 Q. And, very briefly, your previous career?
10 A. I started in television -- I was originally a newspaper
11 journalist, started in television at the age of 30,
12 worked my way up to become the chief executive of London
13 Weekend Television. Left there and ran one of the
14 world's largest independent production companies until
15 I took the job with the BBC.
16 Q. What does your role as Director General involve?
17 A. Well I am appointed by the BBC Governors and the BBC
18 Governors alone. I chair the BBC's Executive Committee,
19 which is the equivalent of a board of management, and as
20 Chairman I am responsible to the BBC's Board of
21 Governors for the day-to-day running of the BBC within
22 the terms of the charter and the agreement. I am
23 responsible for delivering by the appropriate means, the
24 appropriate budget, the strategic objects of the
25 organisation as set by the Governors.
1 Q. And again in outline, what are the other main aspects of
2 your role?
3 A. Well I am the editor-in-chief of the BBC's output which
4 means I have to oversee the editorial standards of the
5 BBC on radio, television and on-line, including the
6 setting of and the compliance with the BBC's rules on
7 editorial policy. I suppose the other key component of
8 that role is to ensure at an operational level that the
9 BBC both maintains its independence from Government and
10 other vested interests.
11 I am also ultimately -- I oversee the operation of
12 the BBC complaints unit --
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. -- which is part of the BBC but separate from programme
15 making. There is a right of appeal against any decision
16 made by the programmes unit directly to the Governors'
17 Programme Complaints Committee.
18 My job is also involved in ensuring that the major
19 matters, particularly those with a strategic or
20 significant budgetary dimension or which are
21 particularly controversial, are brought to the attention
22 of the Chairman and the Governors as a whole.
23 Q. What is your role vis a vis the Governors? Do they have
24 any day-to-day responsibilities?
25 A. I have a weekly meeting with the Chairman of the
1 Governors, sometimes the Deputy Chairman as well, in
2 which I update him on what is happening across the BBC
3 and then there is a monthly Governors meeting which
4 is -- and normally a private session the night before.
5 The private session, it is normally the Governors and
6 myself; and the following day it is the Governors and
7 some of the other executive directors.
8 I also see my role as leading and motivating the
9 staff right across the BBC. You have to understand that
10 the staff is -- well, sorry --
11 Q. How many employees are there?
12 A. We employ something like 27,000 people but of course we
13 have freelancers coming and going on top of that who
14 work on dramas and entertainment. We have a relatively
15 devolved management structure. There are 16 members of
16 the BBC's executive team. They each report to me.
17 There are nine programming and broadcasting divisions,
18 which include radio, television, news, World Service
19 et cetera.
20 Q. We have heard from Mr Sambrook. Where does he fit into
21 this organisation?
22 A. Mr Sambrook is one of the 16 people who report directly
23 to me.
24 Q. And his role is?
25 A. His role is Director of News. He is therefore
1 responsible for the output of national news and current
2 affairs across the BBC.
3 Q. Do you get involved in individual programmes or do you
4 have enough time to get involved in individual
6 A. Generally not, but obviously by exception at times. But
7 generally not, no.
8 Q. And is there anything you want to say generally about
9 the role of BBC news and current affairs?
10 A. Well what I would say, before I get into that, is
11 I would say the BBC is a very large broadcaster and
12 a very large organisation. There are something like
13 40 hours of broadcasting for every hour of the day. So
14 therefore the opportunity -- it would be wrong of me to
15 try to be involved in anything like that sort of breadth
16 the whole time. Therefore my involvement in programming
17 is by strategic planning and by exception.
18 Well, it does involve -- in terms of news and
19 current affairs, my leadership role includes the 3,400
20 staff in BBC News, where, as you can imagine, news is
21 a highly pressurised world and that part of my role is
22 to ensure that our news staff -- (1) we have the best
23 possible news staff we can have and (2), of course, that
24 they are following procedures and guidelines.
25 Q. We have seen some of the historical correspondence
1 between Mr Campbell and Mr Sambrook about the coverage
2 of the war in Afghanistan. Is there anything you wanted
3 to say in relation to that?
4 A. Well, as I say, one of the BBC's roles is putting
5 information into the public domain. It has to be
6 performed carefully and responsibly. Where we make
7 mistakes I believe we should apologise and have said so
8 on many occasions. I think the most high profile
9 example of an apology directly from me came from an
10 edition of Question Time programme in the week of
11 September 11th where I felt the tone of the programme
12 was inappropriate given the disaster that had just
13 happened and I explained that to my staff and explained
14 that to -- I hope to the general public and apologised.
15 In terms of the reporting of the --
16 Q. Well, of war generally.
17 A. War generally. Well, of course, in times of war it is
18 inevitable, I think -- certainly since the Second World
19 War, at times of war governments put pressure on the BBC
20 to publicise the line they wish the public to
21 understand, in terms of war. I think this has happened
22 ever since Suez really. The first big controversy in
23 terms of war I think came with Suez, that the BBC took
24 the lead -- something we would see as automatic today,
25 but was not there. The leader of the opposition was
1 entitled to broadcast following the Prime Minister's
2 broadcast the day before. That created an enormous
3 amount of concern at the time.
4 I think in most wars since then, certainly
5 Falklands, certainly Kosovo, Afghanistan and the first
6 Gulf War -- less, to an extent, the first Gulf War --
7 there has been a difficult relationship between
8 Government and the BBC.
9 Q. And do you get criticism from those who oppose the war?
10 A. Well, Iraq was a particularly difficult situation.
11 I think it was Hugh Weldon 5who was the BBC's director
12 of television back in 1976 who said that a Britain
13 divided puts the BBC on the rack. And I think that is
14 certainly what happened at the time of Iraq.
15 Q. Can I take you to a document, BBC/4/142?
16 LORD HUTTON: I wonder, just before we do that, could we
17 just go back a moment Mr Dyke where you said that if the
18 BBC are wrong, you should accept that and apologise for
19 that, and you refer to the Question Time programme.
20 A. Yes.
21 LORD HUTTON: Will that sometimes occur without there being
22 a formal procedure through the complaints process?
23 A. Yes, the Question Time programme did not go through the
24 complaints process.
25 LORD HUTTON: I see. So sometimes if the BBC recognises
1 from the volume of complaints, let us say, and the
2 complaints were regarded as being valid, the BBC would
3 take the view then that it should --
4 A. I think the Question Time programme was a judgment.
5 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
6 A. Actually that particular Question Time programme
7 broadcast two weeks later would not have been a problem
8 I do not think, but actually coming two days after
9 September 11th and the shock of September 11th,
10 I thought it was inappropriate. We looked into why it
11 had gone wrong and where it had gone wrong; where it had
12 gone wrong was actually, for perfectly valid reasons,
13 people had one intention and what happened was
15 So, yes, sometimes we would apologise. If it comes
16 to me, there have been occasions when I have apologised.
17 But most of the time I would refer serious complaints to
18 the PCU, the Programme Complaints Unit.
19 LORD HUTTON: Yes. How long would that process take? If
20 the BBC were not disposed to accept a criticism and it
21 went up to the Governors, what would be the time period
22 before a final decision was taken as to whether or not
23 to correct a broadcast or to maintain it was a proper
24 report? Just on average.
25 A. Months. That could take months rather than days, yes.
1 LORD HUTTON: I see. Thank you.
2 MR DINGEMANS: BBC/4/142. This is a letter we see from
3 someone who appears at the bottom, Miss Mahon,
4 complaining about your coverage being too pro-war in
5 relation to --
6 A. Well, we got criticisms from both sides throughout,
7 particularly in the run up to Iraq and during the war in
8 Iraq, during the war itself.
9 Q. I think 23rd March is some four days after the start?
10 A. Yes. We have had significant criticism from both areas.
11 Q. Did you take any steps to anticipate the difficulties
12 you might come into with the war in Iraq?
13 A. Yes, we did the same in Iraq that we had done in
14 Afghanistan. I set up a committee of the most senior
15 people in the BBC and we met on a regular basis, and
16 during the war itself in both Afghanistan and in Iraq we
17 met daily to discuss our output.
18 I mean, we took a number of actions. I mean, before
19 the war it was that committee that decided that -- we
20 had a particular problem with, as you remember, there
21 were a million people who took to the streets of London,
22 an anti-war march. This gave us a particular problem
23 that should we allow any of our people to go on this
24 march. I mean, there is their civil liberties on one
25 hand and their employer position on the other, the
1 integrity of the BBC on the other. The decision we took
2 was we told most of our senior editorial figures that if
3 they chose to go on the march they could not be involved
4 in the coverage of the war at all.
5 Q. Were there any other significant decisions?
6 A. Well, others, yes. What we found in the period in the
7 run up to the war was on Question Time, which is
8 a controlled audience, we went out of our way to make
9 sure we got a balanced audience. This is a time when of
10 course it was quite hard to find people who were willing
11 to support the war; there were many more people willing
12 to come on who were against the war, possibly because
13 that is their passion. On Question Time, therefore, we
14 tried to get a balanced audience.
15 On phone-in programmes, which we have particularly
16 both in local radio and network radio, we had
17 a particular problem in the sense that the phone-in
18 lines were being dominated by people from an anti-war
19 persuasion. We decided that we had to try to get
20 a balanced view on our phone-in programmes, so what we
21 did was we opened up more lines which allowed us to get
22 more callers. Then we tried to make sure we got some
23 sort of balance.
24 Q. After the war Mr Gilligan makes his broadcast on
25 29th May. Were you involved at all in any process
1 leading up to that broadcast?
2 A. No, I was -- but I would not normally be. I mean this
3 was not exceptional. I happened to be on holiday that
4 week anyway, I was out of the country. I would not
5 normally be. The nature of the news means if you are
6 a editor-in-chief at the level I am with that sort of
7 scale of operation, there is no possible way in news
8 that you could be involved.
9 No, I was on holiday. In fact I was in touch with
10 the office a lot during that week about another issue to
11 do with the war.
12 Q. Which was?
13 A. Correspondent, the BBC 2 programme, international news
14 programme on a Sunday night was planning to run
15 a documentary that Sunday about Al Jazeera, the Arabic
16 international news channel. The producers were using
17 pictures or planning to use pictures in that of two
18 bodies of British servicemen as well as pictures of
19 Iraqi servicemen and pictures of American servicemen.
20 This had become quite a big story in one or two
22 Q. So you were involved in the process leading up to that?
23 A. I was not in executive control, because when you are
24 away -- Jana Bennett, who was director of television,
25 was in charge. But I was involved a lot in talking
1 about this, although in the end I had to leave -- the
2 final decision was hers. Interestingly she decided --
3 it might be relevant to this Inquiry that she decided we
4 should broadcast the pictures, and when I came back
5 I agreed with that decision. The relatives of the two
6 soldiers then made an official complaint to the BBC.
7 I referred -- perhaps in answer to Lord Hutton's earlier
8 question, I referred this direct to the Governors.
9 Q. Cutting out the complaints --
10 A. Because it seemed to me if the most senior people at the
11 BBC had taken the decision, there was not much point in
12 going through our complaints procedure, it should go
13 straight to the Governors' complaints committee, which
14 in turn actually supported the decision -- did not
15 support the decision of the executive, it actually
16 overturned and we issued an apology to the relatives
18 Q. When did you first hear of Mr Gilligan's broadcast on
19 29th May?
20 A. My recollection is that in the first few days of June,
21 when I returned to the office, I became aware in general
22 terms of the story about the September dossier. And on
23 5th June I certainly had a regular meeting with
24 Stephen Whittle. Now Stephen Whittle is formerly the
25 head of the Broadcasting Standards Commission but he is
1 in charge of editorial, the editorial policy unit of the
2 BBC. I would meet him -- and he is responsible for
3 producing guidelines and all those sorts of things.
4 I had met him on 5th June. And although my recollection
5 is that we spent most of that meeting discussing the
6 ramifications of the correspondent programme, we did --
7 I think it was same day that John Reid, who was then
8 Chairman of the Labour party, had been on the Today
9 Programme and I think -- talking about this issue; and
10 I think we discussed the issue -- the two of us
11 discussed the issue then. My recollection is that at
12 that meeting I asked him just to update me and find out
13 quite the provenance of this story, where it came from,
14 you know, and did we follow the correct procedures for
15 it to go on air.
16 Q. Did you ask, at this stage, to see any of the underlying
17 material to justify the story?
18 A. No, no. It was much more casual than that. This was --
19 I mean, we have disagreements on stories with Government
20 and others on a quite regular basis, so this was not
21 particularly exceptional. I just happened -- the
22 John Reid interview was quite remarkable, I thought.
23 Q. Why was it remarkable?
24 A. It was just a riveting piece of radio. Not remarkable
25 in terms of things -- just as a piece of theatre it was
1 remarkable. He had heard it. I had not heard it but he
2 told me about it. I then got hold of the tape to listen
3 to. We both -- I said: could you just go and check this
4 out for me and make sure that we follow all our
6 Q. Was Mr Reid complaining about the story that Mr Gilligan
7 had run?
8 A. Partly. But this was the day that Mr Reid, I think, was
9 talking about rogue elements in the Security Services.
10 Q. Partly in response to Mr Gilligan's story?
11 A. Oh yes.
12 LORD HUTTON: May I just ask you, Mr Dyke: you say you
13 discussed Mr Gilligan's story in general terms. Were
14 you aware of the actual details of the report, of what
15 he had precisely said?
16 A. No. I was aware that there was a disagreement going on.
17 LORD HUTTON: Yes. You were not aware that he had said that
18 the Government probably knew that the 45 minute figure
19 was wrong even before they decided to put it in?
20 A. No, not at that stage at all.
21 LORD HUTTON: When did you first become aware of the actual
22 words of that report?
23 A. I did not become aware of that for several weeks.
24 LORD HUTTON: We can come on to that if you have --
25 A. Not for several weeks.
1 LORD HUTTON: Yes. You asked to hear the tape of
2 Dr John Reid's interview.
3 A. Only because he had told me what a riveting interview it
5 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
6 A. And it was as part of that process I said to him could
7 he just check out and make sure we had followed the
8 proper procedures.
9 LORD HUTTON: You did not do that at that stage with regard
10 to Mr Gilligan's report?
11 A. I asked him to look at the thing overall, which included
12 Mr Gilligan's report. I asked him, to say: look, this
13 is clearly an issue going on here, could you go and make
14 sure we have followed our procedures.
15 LORD HUTTON: Yes, I see. Yes.
16 MR DINGEMANS: Were you aware at this time of my complaints
17 that had been received?
18 A. By that time -- well, I was -- not of a formal complaint
19 to the BBC. Obviously there were complaints to the
20 programme because that is what was going on on air.
21 I was not aware of a formal complaint --
22 Q. Any correspondence?
23 A. -- but I was later made aware there had been a written
24 complaint from Ann Shevas in the Downing Street press
25 office which had been replied to by Stephen Mitchell,
1 the head of BBC Radio News. But that normally would not
2 have come anywhere near me.
3 Q. Can I take you to BBC/5/58, which is an e-mail from
4 Mr Whittle to you. He says:
6 "In response to your questions. This is the
7 sequence of events."
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was this the e-mail that you received after you had
10 raised matters with Mr Whittle?
11 A. It was.
12 Q. Then, halfway down, it talks about the checks that had
13 been made.
14 "With the dossier story Kevin Marsh's conversation
15 was about the strength of the source (not the name) and
16 about whether the Gilligan story was consistent with
17 separate intelligence sources we were aware of ...
18 "The programme editor thinks the story of sufficient
19 significance, potentially controversial, carries high
20 legal risks etc he contacts Stephen Mitchell. In the
21 case of the dossier, head of Radio News was tipped off
22 in general terms ..."
23 At the bottom of the page:
24 "The live two-way at 06.10 was discussed in general
25 terms by the programme with Gilligan while John Humphrys
1 had a brief written overnight to work from. The 07.00
2 bulletin piece was scripted by Andrew Gilligan and
3 checked by the Newsroom's Output team, the 07.30
4 illustrated package was scripted but played in live ..."
5 Then reference is made to that.
7 "Ingram had been booked by a programme producer the
8 night before and the outline of the Gilligan story and
9 the Cluster Bomb story outlined to his office...
10 "Events often move on..."
11 There is a bit I cannot read at the bottom of the
12 page. I do not know if you have it there? Mine has
13 been destroyed. There was a denial, effectively.
14 A. Yes. My recollection of it is also that he said it was
15 a sound story, well sourced.
16 Q. Right.
17 A. But it is --
18 Q. That is what you were told on 5th June?
19 A. That is what I was told -- I can check actually. I have
20 probably got the document here so I can just check the
21 exact final form.
22 Yes. The final line:
23 "As you can see, a strong and well sourced story."
24 Q. Sorry, it was chopped off my bit of the page.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So you were happy at that stage?
2 A. Yes. I mean, this is something -- Stephen plays a role
3 in the BBC whereby if I pick up concerns I often say to
4 him: can you just make sure this is okay, can we go
5 through the process?
6 Q. Were you aware of later complaints made by Mr Campbell?
7 A. Yes. Richard Sambrook had also been away and when he
8 came back I remember him telling me that he had received
9 a letter from Alastair Campbell about these reports and
10 he said he would copy both the letter and the reply to
12 Q. That happened, did it?
13 A. That happened.
14 Q. We will not go to the reports, if that is all right,
15 because we have seen them before on a number of
16 occasions. Were you involved in the drafting of those
18 A. No, not at all. Again, this is normal practice. A
19 complaint sent to Richard Sambrook would be dealt with
20 by Richard Sambrook unless the complainant was unhappy.
21 Q. We have heard there was a lunch at Downing Street on
22 12th June. Did you go to that lunch?
23 A. No. It was for senior people -- as I understand it was
24 for senior people in news and current -- senior -- it
25 was an editor level lunch by and large, the people who
1 day to day run the programmes.
2 Q. People with influence over the stories?
3 A. Yes. But --
4 Q. The 25th June. Then there is a BBC -- where are you on
5 25th June?
6 A. Once again, similarly Alastair Campbell's reply of
7 12th June. You want to pass over that?
8 Q. We have seen that on a number of occasions and the
10 A. I do not know if this is of any help, there is only
11 a point that I happened to -- I think as
12 Richard Sambrook described to the Inquiry, these sort of
13 letters coming out of the Downing Street press office
14 are not unusual. But it is interesting, I think, on
15 this one of 12th June just the final paragraph. I only
16 say this -- it might be completely irrelevant to this
17 Inquiry, but the final paragraph gives the sort of
18 flavour of where Alastair Campbell is complaining about
19 a story in the Sunday Telegraph the day before and that
20 we had given considerable time in our news bulletins to
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. In which he basically -- he is talking about a Sunday
24 Telegraph story that he had written a letter of apology
25 to the head of the SIS. He goes on to say: this is
1 untrue but the head of the SIS has also confirmed the
2 story is untrue. I am currently seeking an apology from
3 the Sunday Telegraph.
4 It was just of interest when I spent my Sunday
5 morning reading this -- in some ways one wonders is that
6 the way to spend Sunday mornings. However, I did spend
7 Sunday morning reading this. On page 37 --
8 Q. You are looking at the Intelligence and Security
9 Committee report?
10 A. Yes, the Intelligence and Security Committee report. It
11 says quite clearly:
12 "The Committee took evidence on this matter from the
13 chief of the SIS ... Both agreed that making the
14 document public without consulting the SIS or the JIC
15 chairman was a cock up. Alastair Campbell confirmed
16 that once he became aware the providence of the document
17 was being questioned because of the inclusion of
18 Dr al Marashi's work ... he telephoned both the Chief of
19 the SIS and the JIC Chairman to apologise."
20 Which does seem to rather contradict what was in the
21 letter of 12th June.
22 Q. You obviously spend a lot of your time reading Committee
23 reports. On 19th June Mr Gilligan appeared before the
24 Foreign Affairs Committee and gave evidence about his
25 story. Did you know that Mr Gilligan was going to
1 appear before the Foreign Affairs Committee report?
2 A. I knew that he was -- it had come on to my radar screen
3 that he was going to give evidence, yes.
4 Q. He was going to give evidence about a story which was,
5 rightly or wrongly, severely aggravating the Government;
7 A. Yes. Although it had gone quiet by then.
8 Q. Did you follow Mr Gilligan's evidence with the same care
9 that you have read the Intelligence and Security
10 Committee report?
11 A. No, I do not think it would be my normal practice to
12 read the Intelligence and Security Committee report with
13 the detail I did if -- it happened to be in the middle
14 of this Inquiry. I have -- I did subsequently read
15 Mr Gilligan's evidence.
16 Q. Can I take you to a couple of those answers?
17 LORD HUTTON: Just before we do that, Mr Dingemans, would
18 the stenographers like a break for 5 minutes? We will
19 break for 5 minutes.
20 (3.38 pm)
21 (Short Break)
22 (3.42 pm)
23 MR DINGEMANS: Mr Dyke, I was about to take you to
24 Mr Gilligan's evidence on 19th June at FAC/2/145.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I think you said it had come across your radar that he
2 was going to give --
3 A. It had come across my radar he was giving evidence, but
4 of course the story by then had become far less high
5 profile. Of course Mr Gilligan's evidence got very
6 little coverage actually.
7 Q. Right. How many times, in recent years, has a BBC
8 journalist given evidence to a House of Commons Select
10 A. I do not know.
11 Q. Many times, or?
12 A. I do not remember one in the three and a half years
13 I have been there; but this would have been dealt with
14 by Richard Sambrook and Mark Damazer. As you know, of
15 course, Mark Damazer went with Mr Gilligan.
16 Q. Yes. So were you made aware of anything that
17 Mr Gilligan had said at the time?
18 A. Not at that stage, no.
19 Q. You see, if I may I will deal with it in chronology
20 because we will come to it in time. If one scrolls down
21 to the question at question 461, Mr Pope:
22 "Just on this issue of the 45 minutes, I want to be
23 very clear about what your source is alleging. Is your
24 source alleging that the 45 minutes did not exist in the
25 assessment that was inserted by Alastair Campbell?"
1 And the answer:
2 "I will quote his words again. He said, 'It was
3 real information. It was the information of a single
4 source.' My source did not believe it was reliable. He
5 believed that that single source had made a mistake,
6 that he had confused the deployment time for
7 a conventional missile with the deployment time for
8 a CBW missile. He did not believe that any missiles had
9 been armed with CBW that would therefore be able to be
10 fireable at 45 minutes' notice. He believed that claim
11 was unreliable."
12 Then at 148, at question 480 at the bottom,
13 Mr Illsley asked:
14 "Basically whichever committee holds an inquiry into
15 this will have access to the raw data and they will find
16 that claim somewhere in the intelligence reports from
17 the intelligence community."
18 Mr Gilligan:
19 "It was not a claim that was in any way made up or
20 fabricated by Downing Street. Another one of the
21 reasons why this story took on the life that it did was
22 that Downing Street denied a number of things which had
23 never been alleged. They denied, among other things,
24 that material had been fabricated. Nobody ever alleged
25 that material had been fabricated."
1 I appreciate those are only two answers at the
2 Foreign Affairs Committee. I am going to take you to
3 them later on if I may. At the time were you aware,
4 apart from the fact in general terms he was giving
5 evidence, of the answers that had been given?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Were you aware that Mr Campbell gave evidence on
8 25th June to the Foreign Affairs Committee?
9 A. Well, I became aware, as you can imagine. I think
10 I remember being aware of the story that Mr Campbell had
11 decided to give evidence or -- because if I remember
12 rightly, he initially was not going to give evidence and
13 then was encouraged to give evidence. So I was aware
14 that he was going to give evidence, yes.
15 Q. And did you become aware of some of his evidence?
16 A. At what stage?
17 Q. Well, did you become aware of the content of his
19 A. Oh yes, I became -- on the -- I think that was the
20 25th June, if I remember --
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. On 25th and 26th June I was chairing a BBC -- we have
23 twice a year a BBC Executive Committee conference, this
24 was in Surrey -- when the news came through of a pretty
25 ferocious attack which Alastair Campbell had launched
1 not just against the particular report broadcast by
2 Andrew Gilligan, but on the BBC's journalistic integrity
3 and in particular on our coverage of the war.
4 Q. Your coverage of the?
5 A. Of the war, sorry.
6 Q. And what was your reaction to that?
7 A. Well, I discussed it with Richard Sambrook who was also
8 at the conference. He had been invited by that time to
9 appear on the Today Programme the following day to
10 answer Mr Campbell's allegations and we both agreed that
11 he should leave the conference and go. I mean, an
12 attack of this sort of scale from the Government's
13 Director of Strategy and Communications was pretty near
14 unprecedented, I would have thought.
15 LORD HUTTON: Had you, by this stage, read the details of
16 Mr Gilligan's broadcast report on 29th May, Mr Dyke?
17 A. (Pause). I do not remember.
18 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
19 A. I think probably not.
20 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
21 A. Probably not.
22 LORD HUTTON: You see, I have read already part of the
23 report which said that actually the Government probably
24 knew that the 45 minutes figure was wrong even before it
25 decided to put it in. Would you regard that as a very
1 grave charge indeed against the Government?
2 A. Well, of course it -- it was a charge being made not by
3 the BBC but by a source to the BBC; but at that stage
4 I would not have read that. I would have received
5 Stephen Whittle's account of our process. The process
6 was going pretty well. I would have talked about this
7 with Richard Sambrook. By this time remember the story
8 had died away. This had not been brought on to our
9 radar screen over the previous 10 days at all, 14 days.
10 LORD HUTTON: Whether the charge was made by the BBC or by
11 a source which the BBC was reporting, would you regard
12 it as a very serious allegation?
13 A. Oh, it is pretty serious charge. But there is
14 a distinction between a charge made by the BBC and
15 a charge made by a source to the BBC.
16 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
17 A. They are very -- a very different -- they carry
18 a different degree of gravity.
19 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
20 MR DINGEMANS: We have seen some of the extracts from
21 Mr Campbell's evidence where he said that the story was
22 a lie and those aspects. I will not take you to those
23 because I think we have seen them enough before. But
24 what was your reaction to those attacks on the stories?
25 A. Well obviously this was a pretty unprecedented -- as
1 I said, an unprecedented attack.
2 LORD HUTTON: Well, did you consider, Mr Dyke, whether
3 Mr Campbell's complaint to the FAC related to the
4 entirety of Mr Gilligan's broadcast on 29th May or
5 whether his complaint related, in particular, to this
6 allegation: the Government probably knew that the
7 45 minutes claim was wrong?
8 A. Well, that had not been the nature of the complaints up
9 until that time, in the two letters that we had got.
10 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
11 A. So it seemed to me a much more general attack based
12 around a particular story or based around a story, but
13 a general attack on the BBC. So, remember he was
14 accusing us of lying; he was saying that we had run an
15 agenda against the war or certain parts of the BBC had
16 run an agenda against the war. These are very serious
17 charges to make against a broadcasting organisation.
18 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
19 A. So it seemed -- he had also said we had effectively
20 accused the Prime Minister of lying, which
21 Richard Sambrook said to me was not -- it would be
22 almost impossible to construe what we said as that.
23 That is why I agreed that Richard should go back to
24 London and go on to the Today Programme to put our case.
25 MR DINGEMANS: Mr Campbell followed it up with a letter
1 dated 26th June. Did you see that letter? It is
3 A. There were two letters, I think, of the 26th. Yes,
4 there was one to Richard Sambrook, which he released to
5 that press today. It was released to the press at the
6 same time as it was sent to Richard, I think. He sent
7 a second private letter to me.
8 Q. Yes. And were you aware, then, of the letter that had
9 been written to Mr Sambrook?
10 A. I was aware of it on -- sorry, I am getting my days
11 muddled up. The 25th. Yes, I was aware of it on the
13 Q. And the longer letter was the letter to Mr Sambrook, is
14 that right?
15 A. Yes. The second letter to me, which was a private
16 letter sent to myself -- private in the sense it was
17 sent directly to me, not released to the press, and
18 copied to my Chairman -- was the more conciliatory of
19 the two letters. When I received that I thought, by
20 this stage, that this was too late really to send me
21 conciliatory letters to try to see if we could sort
22 something out.
23 I have to say to this day I do not understand why
24 Mr Campbell did not write to me personally earlier or
25 write to the Chairman personally earlier or asked to see
1 either of us, but he did not. He sent me a more
2 conciliatory letter after he had launched the attack at
3 the Foreign Affairs Committee the day before.
4 Q. And the conciliatory letter having been sent after the
5 attack had been launched?
6 A. The attack was launched on the 25th. I suspect the
7 other two letters went at roughly the same time.
8 Q. Yes. Did that have any effect on what you perceived to
9 be your room for manoeuvre?
10 A. No. I thought that, as I say, if I had received the
11 conciliatory letter some days earlier, saying look --
12 because I had received nothing, then that might have
13 done. By this time Mr Campbell had launched a broadside
14 against the whole of BBC journalism. At that stage it
15 seemed to me it was an external attack and then we had
16 to take some action.
17 Q. Your letter we see at BBC/5/92. Did you reply to that
19 A. No.
20 Q. And why was that?
21 A. Because I thought, as I say, I think it was too late.
22 We were under a pretty ferocious public attack at the
23 FAC. We were under ferocious attacks at the Lobby
24 briefings the following day. Now there was another
25 letter being sent to Richard which was also a pretty
1 ferocious attack which had been released publicly. I am
2 not sure that therefore there was an opportunity to, how
3 can I say, put the genie back in the bottle, really.
4 I think. It was then a very big public issue.
5 Q. Going back to the letter Mr Sambrook received at
6 BBC/6/62, a number of specific questions were raised at
7 the top of the page.
8 LORD HUTTON: Can we just scroll back to that letter that
9 was up on the screen?
10 MR DINGEMANS: Sorry my Lord, it is BBC/5/92.
11 LORD HUTTON: Yes. Could we just look at this, Mr Dyke?
12 You see in the second paragraph Mr Campbell says:
13 "Put to one side our complaint about the BBC's
14 coverage of Iraq recently about which you were
15 dismissive in your letter to the Prime Minister."
16 Then there is a paragraph about the allegations
17 about "my conduct in relation to the WMD dossier, it has
18 been a disgrace."
19 Then he says in the next paragraph:
20 "This story is 100 per cent wrong."
21 A. Yes.
22 LORD HUTTON: Did you consider what Mr Campbell meant by
23 "this story"?
24 A. No. I read this letter, having read the letter to
25 Richard first. The letter to Richard was sent to me
1 when I was in Surrey. This came later to my office and
2 it was faxed to me at home. It is interesting, "this
3 story is 100 per cent wrong". Of course we knew if he
4 meant this story, if he meant the Gilligan story --
5 well, of course, we knew by then it was not 100 per cent
6 wrong because a couple of important parts of it had
7 already been shown to be factually correct.
8 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
9 A. I saw this -- I do not know -- I know Alastair, I do not
10 know him well and I do not know him much through my job.
11 I have know him socially. Oddly I have met him more at
12 football matches than anywhere else. It seemed to me
13 that sending this letter on the day after the sort of
14 attack, made an attempt to write a personal letter
15 saying: please do this, a bit strange. But I presumed
16 he meant -- this story is 100 per cent wrong, I presumed
17 by that he meant the Gilligan story.
18 LORD HUTTON: The entirety of Mr Gilligan's broadcast?
19 A. Yes, the whole breadth of it. But of course the attack
20 the day before of course had been much wider than that.
21 MR DINGEMANS: BBC/5/95 which is the questions that were
23 A. Well, can --
24 Q. I think you had seen this, you said, before you had got
25 your letter?
1 A. Yes, I saw this. Then I got my letter.
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. That was on the Thursday the 5th, is it? Thursday the
5 Q. 26th June.
6 A. Sorry, I am miles away. Thursday 26th June.
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. On the following morning --
9 Q. And he had actually asked -- he had released the letter
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Had that had any effect on the temperature in relation
13 to the dispute?
14 A. Yes, because the letter did not only put a list of
15 questions, it said I want a reply, I think in --
16 Q. It says later on that day.
17 A. Yes, he wanted a reply the day before, so it put an
18 enormous pressure. What I decided to do, I had a full
19 diary the following day which I cancelled and I decided
20 to go across to offer support to Richard Sambrook and
21 his team. That is what I think one of the jobs of the
22 Director General is. At times like this you offer
23 support. So I went across to Richard. I discussed it
24 with my Chairman first thing in the morning. Then
25 I went across to see Richard and to discuss the issue
1 and help draft the reply.
2 Q. So you looked at these questions. When you were helping
3 draft the reply, did you, at that stage, listen to
4 a tape of the broadcast on 29th May?
5 A. (Pause). I think we read the transcript.
6 Q. You read the transcript. I think we have that at
7 BBC/1/5 onwards. What was your reaction, if we look at
8 BBC/1/4, to the opening of the piece which Mr Gilligan
9 has told us was unscripted and had followed a more
10 neutral introduction by the news reader?
11 A. Well, I think we -- during that day we had all the
12 transcripts of not just the early piece, but we had all
13 the different pieces that were run throughout the
14 morning; and I read through them. What I did was to
15 largely get involved in the writing of the first half of
16 the reply.
17 Q. Right. But having read, for example, this bit at
18 BBC/1/4 where it was said "the Government probably knew
19 that the 45 minute figure was wrong", I can take you to
20 other bits later on.
21 A. Sure. I cannot say that particular piece jumped out at
22 me. I mean, clearly we knew there were fairly serious
23 allegations, the point has been made, but I do not think
24 that piece particularly jumped out.
25 Q. At BBC/1/5, at 20 minutes to 8, Mr Humphrys'
1 introduction. He introduced Mr Gilligan as saying:
2 "... has found evidence that the Government's
3 dossier on Iraq that was produced last September was
4 cobbled together at the last minute with some
5 unconfirmed material that had not been approved by the
6 Security Services."
7 Now, those are, on any view, reasonably serious
8 claims to make.
9 A. Well, remember Richard and his team had been dealing
10 with this over several weeks and therefore they were
11 much more involved in that detail than I was. The
12 detail I got largely involved in, if I can --
13 Q. If we go to the reply --
14 A. The reply of -- yes, of 27th June.
15 Q. -- which was 27th June. Sorry, I will pick it up in
16 another file, if I may. 27th June at BBC/6 --
17 A. I think it is 50119.
18 Q. Well, BBC/6/64.
19 A. I am sorry. Was the letter of the 27th -- that is it.
20 The letter of 27th June.
21 Q. You say you were involved in the first part of --
22 A. I was involved mainly in allegations of biased reporting
23 and trying to put it in the context of unease in the
24 Security Services. I did not do the individual -- on
25 page 3 of the letter there are the beginnings of
1 a number of individual press quotes which I was not
2 involved in putting together, someone else was.
3 Q. You dealt with allegations of biased reporting and,
4 BBC/6/65, the February dossier?
5 A. Sure, and --
6 Q. And unease in the Security Services at BBC/6/66?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Was that picking up any other information that you had
10 A. No, not at that stage. This was largely in discussion
11 with Richard Sambrook and -- I mean, Richard was at the
12 word processor --
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. -- and largely writing the letter. I was having some
15 ideas. As I say, I went there to support them, after
16 what I thought was an unprecedented attack on their
18 Q. But were you not also there to see whether or not any of
19 the charges in Mr Campbell's letter might be right?
20 A. Well --
21 Q. Or did you not see that as part of your function?
22 A. We had other people going through the individual charges
23 and checking them, including Mr Gilligan, checking to
24 make sure they were supportable. So I made the
25 assumption that our answers to these are right; and my
1 role, as I say, was to offer support over about four or
2 five hours, to offer support and make sure that -- I got
3 involved in the contextual part because I think the
4 contextual part was important.
5 Q. You have shown that bit.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. If we go on to BBC/6/69, for example, when we at the top
8 of the page turn to the specific questions.
9 A. Well, I read these.
10 Q. And read the answers?
11 A. I read the answers, yes.
12 Q. If one scrolls down to the bottom of the page, can
13 I just pick up this one and ask you about it:
14 "Does it still stand by the allegation made on that
15 day that both we and the intelligence agencies knew the
16 45 minute claim to be wrong and inserted it despite
17 knowing that."
18 It said this:
19 "Andrew Gilligan accurately reported the source
20 telling him that the Government 'probably knew that the
21 45 minute figure was wrong' and that the claim was
22 'questionable'. The basis for this assertion by
23 Andrew Gilligan's source was that the information about
24 the 45 minute claim had been derived from only one
25 intelligence source -- whereas most other claims in the
1 dossier had at least two. Gilligan's source also
2 believed this single Iraqi source had probably got the
3 information wrong."
4 Did you read that reply?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you ask or were you shown, at this stage,
7 Mr Gilligan's notes of his meeting?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Were they available to the meeting that was drafting
10 this reply?
11 A. No. Mr Gilligan was there, but -- he was in the part of
12 the meeting in the other part of the office, he was not
13 at the meeting where I was. But we assumed that these
14 replies were accurate.
15 LORD HUTTON: Why did you assume they were accurate,
16 Mr Dyke? I mean very strong protests were being made by
17 the Government on this particular point and the Chairman
18 of the Joint Intelligence Committee had said that the
19 report was wrong. Now, why did you not consider the
20 accuracy of it?
21 A. Because we were reporting a source. I mean, there is
22 a real distinction, and it has been, I think, muddled in
23 a lot of the reporting, including I would say some of
24 our own reporting of this issue.
25 MR DINGEMANS: Will you explain the distinction?
1 A. The distinction was whether this was the BBC saying this
2 or whether this was the BBC reporting the source. We
3 were reporting a source. There are questions that have
4 to be asked when you are doing that, but that work had
5 been done and the view was that this was a credible
6 source to report.
7 LORD HUTTON: Yes. Mr Dyke, I can fully appreciate the
8 distinction you draw between the BBC making an
9 allegation and the BBC reporting an allegation by
10 someone else. I can also fully appreciate that in
11 deciding whether to report an allegation by a source it
12 is important for the BBC to consider the credibility of
13 that source and also surrounding circumstances, whether
14 there are matters to support it. I would like to ask
15 you what I think I asked Mr Davies.
16 If there was a very serious charge that a very
17 prominent public figure was taking a bribe, do you think
18 that from the point of view of the harm done to that
19 person there is a real distinction between a report
20 which says: the BBC is aware that X is taking bribes,
21 and a BBC report that it has been informed by a source
22 that X is taking bribes?
23 That is a very different context, I fully
24 appreciate,from allegations about the intelligence
25 information about the war. I would just like to pursue
1 with you a little this distinction.
2 A. The concept of qualified privilege is a relatively new
3 one. I have been involved -- and I probably only knew
4 of it because having been involved fairly recently in
5 a case from the other side, where certain allegations
6 were made in a newspaper about a programme we had made
7 in Kent which reported the Kent police allegation; and
8 of course we could take action against the Kent police
9 and could not take any against the News of the World
10 because it is qualified privilege. So there was
11 a concept of qualified privilege. I do accept that the
12 concept of qualified privilege when you have anonymous
13 sources is more difficult.
14 When I look back -- I will be very honest with you,
15 when I look back on that day, I would like to think that
16 if I was there today I would have stopped and said: we
17 are in danger here of trying to reply too quickly
18 because we are trying to reply on Alastair Campbell's
20 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
21 A. And I would like to think that when I look back I would
22 have said: let us stop. Let us just say we are not
23 going to reply to this letter and let us go away and ask
24 the Programme Complaints Unit to do a full investigation
25 of this whole issue.
1 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
2 A. However, as I say, that is what I would like --
3 hindsight is a wonderful thing.
4 LORD HUTTON: Quite. You have already explained this was in
5 a context where you thought there was an unjustified
6 report on your whole broadcasting of the war.
7 A. I thought there was a significant attack going on to the
8 BBC that I think had been preplanned. But in
9 retrospect, as I say, I regret that I did not stop that
10 day and say to everybody: let us just stop. Let us live
11 with the publicity we are going to get if we do not
12 reply because we were an enormous amount of pressure
13 from the press to reply. Let us live with that pressure
14 and let us go and have a full investigation.
15 LORD HUTTON: Yes. Yes. Thank you.
16 MR DINGEMANS: You say that you thought that the attack was
17 preplanned. What do you mean by that?
18 A. Maybe that is a -- it was very difficult to see why,
19 when he went before the FAC, Mr Campbell decided to
20 attack in the way he did. This story had disappeared
21 from the papers for 10 days, 12 days. It was difficult
22 to see why the attack came; and I mean this is opinion,
23 it is nothing more than opinion, but it appeared to both
24 Richard Sambrook and I that one possible reason for the
25 purpose of the attack was that the FAC would then not
1 look in such detail at Mr Campbell's role in the
2 February dossier, the dodgy dossier.
3 Q. Was that a mindset informing your response at the time?
4 A. I do not think so. I think what informed our response
5 at the time was the breadth of the attack. I think that
6 was -- one felt that old scores were being settled,
7 particularly in terms of the war and the coverage of the
8 war, because there were times when the Government, as
9 you know from the --
10 Q. We have seen the correspondence.
11 A. You have seen the correspondence. At times the
12 Government were extremely unhappy with our coverage of
13 the war. The argument we, of course, tried to make at
14 that time was, you know, without being rude: You are
15 not in the best position to judge impartiality. You
16 know, if you have led the country to war, you are not
17 good at impartiality, I do not think.
18 Q. That is 27th June. We hear that Mr Campbell received
19 that reply, being read to him while he was at Wimbledon.
20 He then appeared on Channel 4 News.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What effect did this have on the dispute between the
23 Government and the BBC?
24 A. I think it just escalated it a little bit more. I would
25 not go too much. I think it was a pretty serious attack
1 by then. I think the Channel 4 News was just -- was
2 a piece of theatre really.
3 Q. We know that the Foreign Affairs Committee report is
4 going to be published on 7th July; and we know that the
5 Governors met on 6th July. When did you become aware
6 that the Governors were going to meet?
7 A. I was in Northern Ireland on 4th July. I tend to spend
8 one day of the week out of London trying to get around
9 various parts of the BBC. I was in Northern Ireland on
10 4th July when I was called by Simon Milner, who is the
11 secretary to the Governors, to tell me that the Chairman
12 was calling a Governors' meeting for Sunday evening.
13 So, I was not in the office and was not going back to
14 the office.
15 Q. Did you attend directly from Northern Ireland to the
16 Governors' meeting as it were?
17 A. No, I came back from Northern Ireland on the Friday
18 night and went to the Governors' meeting on the Sunday
20 Q. Did you work on the Saturday?
21 A. Well, I got the papers delivered to me at home, so
22 I read the papers. Many of them I had seen before of
23 course, but I read the papers on the Saturday.
24 Q. And at this stage had you, yourself, seen anything in
25 relation to the underlying material? For example,
1 Mr Gilligan's notes of his meeting with Dr Kelly.
2 A. Yes. In the week -- sorry, I am slightly muddling my
3 weeks -- before -- we are seven days, are we not,
4 between the reply to the letter and myself going to
5 Northern Ireland? In that week, I made myself aware of
6 quite a lot of information which included going and
7 asking to see Mr Gilligan's notes.
8 Q. And when you saw Mr Gilligan's notes, did you see any
9 support for the original report, unscripted original
10 report, to the effect that the Government probably knew
11 that the 45 minute figure was wrong?
12 A. No, I saw --
13 Q. I will take you to the notes rather than test your
14 memory. BBC/1/54.
15 A. My recollection is that I saw a number of things in the
16 notes that supported the story. But the work on -- and
17 I was aware at that time that -- now, this is is not
18 exactly the set of notes that I saw but it is near
19 enough because this, I think, is -- these are the notes
20 straight from the Palm Pilot. I did not see those.
21 What I saw was Mr Gilligan had typed up a set of notes
22 which were then redacted and I saw those. But I have
23 compared them since. They are broadly the same.
24 Q. Right. So effectively that without Dr Kelly's name?
25 A. Yes, and -- and there were words that are -- that had --
1 where there are words missing, like "chem" would have
2 been "chemical".
3 Q. So it would have been transcribed --
4 A. It is not appreciably different.
5 Q. If we look at BBC/6/6 we see some other material that
6 was distributed to the Governors, which was "How we
7 reported and what we knew". If we go to BBC/6/7, did
8 you see this?
9 A. I read that during the week, yes.
10 Q. You read that during the week?
11 A. Yes. I read that and I had read the transcripts of the
12 evidence given by Andrew Gilligan and Alastair Campbell
13 to the FAC during that week.
14 Q. So you had read Mr Gilligan's evidence?
15 A. Evidence.
16 Q. And you recall I took you, in the chronology, to what he
17 had said?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. But he had made it fairly clear that he had not intended
20 to accuse the Government of lying, effectively, or doing
21 something that they probably knew was wrong?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When you read --
24 A. I think.
25 Q. -- Mr Gilligan's evidence to the FAC, what was your
1 reaction about the story then?
2 A. I think Mr Gilligan's evidence to the FAC, on reading,
3 was coherent.
4 Q. It may well have been, but that is not the answer to the
6 A. Sorry.
7 Q. What did you think about the fact that on a reading of
8 Mr Gilligan's evidence, about what the source had said,
9 it did not appear to support the allegation that the
10 Government probably knew that the 45 minutes --
11 A. I did not compare it in that sort of detail.
12 Q. You did not?
13 A. No.
14 Q. So you were just reading it for ...?
15 A. As I say, I was trying to catch up on the reading, that
16 week, of what might be relevant.
17 Q. We have also seen an e-mail at BBC/5/118, in which
18 comments were made about Mr Gilligan's reporting.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you see this e-mail?
21 A. No, I did not know of the existence of this e-mail until
22 the day the Inquiry started. I should explain, I was
23 away -- I took a truncated holiday and therefore I came
24 back and that was the first I knew of this e-mail.
25 LORD HUTTON: Do you think you should have been made aware
1 of it before the Governors' meeting?
2 A. I do not think -- my understanding, but you must confirm
3 it with him, is that Richard Sambrook had not seen this
4 e-mail before the Governors' meeting.
5 LORD HUTTON: Do you think he should have seen it?
6 A. There are a million e-mails a day inside the BBC.
7 Unless somebody had referred it to him, he would not
8 have seen it. But I certainly had not seen it; and
9 I did not see it until the Inquiry started.
10 LORD HUTTON: But it is very critical of the broadcast about
11 which the Government was making very serious complaints
12 and about which there was a very serious controversy.
13 A. Sorry, can I just ...(Pause). It says this -- yes, it
14 makes -- it expresses certain concerns:
15 "This story was a good piece of investigative
16 journalism marred by flawed reporting."
17 LORD HUTTON: "Our biggest millstone has..."
18 A. Yes, on reading this I could not say I was not
20 LORD HUTTON: If I could ask you again Mr Dyke: do you not
21 think that somebody in the BBC chain of management
22 should have brought this to the attention of Mr Sambrook
23 and/or yourself before the Governors' meeting?
24 A. They would not have brought it to my attention.
25 LORD HUTTON: Very well, that --
1 A. This is further down the chain, quite a long way down
2 the chain.
3 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
4 A. But, well -- whether they should have done, they did
6 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
7 MR DINGEMANS: Can I take you to the Governors' meeting
8 which is 6th July?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I am going to take you, if I may, to a translation of
11 shorthand notes at BBC/14/28. This is not the approved
12 minutes, but it is a transcript of someone's notes that
13 have been made there.
14 First of all, were you present throughout the whole
15 of the Governors' meeting?
16 A. No, when I arrived at the Governors' meeting
17 Gavyn Davies took me aside and said: look, he wanted to
18 hold a meeting with just the Governors. Now, this
19 was -- I cannot remember that happening in my time there
20 but he said -- normally if we go into private session it
21 is the Governors and me. He said: would you object to
22 this? I said no way. I was quite happy for them to
23 have this discussion. So I was not there for the early
24 part, for the first part of the meeting.
25 Q. Then you do join the meeting. If we want to see that it
1 is at BBC/14/27. You can see that halfway down the
2 page, "joined by management".
3 Going back to BBC/14/28, can I just ask you this --
4 we have it from various other parts of the material.
5 One thing was said about consultation and warnings. It
6 was said:
7 "Why are we contacting MoD?"
8 The answer was:
9 "Because we already have MoD on air regarding
10 cluster bombs. They were recording this story as a
11 'chatter in the air' and not the sort of scoop it was.
12 If you look at the running order of the programme it was
13 not a lead item, therefore they were not as careful with
14 notes...", that is notes of the warnings, as it were.
15 Did you know by the time of the Governors' meeting
16 that this was not the lead item on the Today Programme
17 or not billed as a lead item on the Today Programme?
18 A. Oh yes, I had known that for some time.
19 Q. When had you become aware of that?
20 A. Let me make sure I am getting this right. This was not
21 the lead item on the original Today Programme.
22 Q. No, the original lead item was going to be cluster
24 A. Yes, and was. It was largely about cluster bombs.
25 I had known that for some time, yes.
1 Q. Did you at that stage reflect on the fact that the story
2 which had been second as it were in the list had managed
3 to create such controversy, or was it that at this stage
4 you were still perceiving that the Government had an
5 agenda in creating the controversy?
6 A. No, there was no -- I did not say there was an agenda in
7 creating the controversy when it started. I suggested
8 there might have been an agenda at the stage~--
9 Q. In keeping the heat going as it were?
10 A. Well, in Mr Campbell's particular appearance at the FAC
11 that day. But I am sorry, I am slightly -- I do not
12 quite know what you want --
13 Q. It was just to find out when you had known about the
14 story not being the lead item.
15 A. I had known that for some time.
16 Q. And that had not caused you, at that stage, any
17 concerns? I mean sometimes a second story might get the
18 most complaints.
19 A. Yes, well journalism is like that sometimes, sadly;
20 that -- this is not an exact science. I think it is
21 interesting that they did not lead on the story on the
22 day. I think it -- clearly it was not, therefore, what
23 they thought was the big story of the day. I have
24 discussed this, oddly, with John Humphrys since, and
25 just saying it is amazing, really, that such a fuss
1 comes out of a story that nobody, at the time, perceived
2 to be quite as important as it turned out to be,
3 I think, on the programme.
4 Q. Do you think any reason for that may have been the way
5 in which the unscripted part of the programme ran?
6 A. No, because that decision would have been taken before
7 the programme went to air, in terms of the -- do I think
8 the unscripted -- well, if you look at the -- sorry,
9 I am mis-understanding. If you look at the early
10 complaints, they are not about the unscripted item.
11 Q. No, you have identified that before.
12 A. They are not about the unscripted item, they are about
13 the thing overall and about: did we follow the
14 complaints procedure? Did we follow our own editorial
15 guidelines, is one of the major ones.
16 So, although it could well be that people have hit
17 upon the 6.07 broadcast at a later stage --
18 Q. After the Governors' meeting there was a statement
19 issued by the Governors and the Foreign Affairs
20 Committee --
21 LORD HUTTON: Do you want to add something?
22 A. I want to add in the Governors' meeting that actually
23 I did -- I did not actually take a very active part but
24 I did make the point that I thought this would have been
25 far better if we had put this to Downing Street as well
1 as to the Ministry of Defence.
2 MR DINGEMANS: And the Governors issued a statement which
3 related to the absence of notes.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. The Governors' statement also suggested they had never
6 accused the Government of lying.
7 A. Well, Richard Sambrook had written that, remember, in
8 his earlier reply. We did not accuse the Prime Minister
9 of lying. The Governors reemphasised that. We --
10 Q. I think we have also seen suggestions by Mr Campbell
11 that saying that someone probably knew something was
12 wrong is pretty close to a suggestion of lying.
13 A. Well, there could be a long discussion on that.
14 Q. Which I --
15 A. It depends at which -- who, when and where inside the
16 Government. There is a difference between Government
17 and the Prime Minister.
18 Q. You had had correspondence with the Chairman of the
19 Foreign Affairs Committee before the report was
20 published; is that right? And you had made it clear
21 that the story might be withdrawn in certain
23 A. Well, Richard Sambrook had had the correspondence but
24 I was involved in it, yes.
25 Q. And what were the circumstances in which you had said
1 you would withdraw the report?
2 A. Well, what we said to the Foreign Affairs Committee was
3 that if they unanimously decided on the basis of
4 concrete evidence that any part of Andrew Gilligan's
5 story was wrong, we would correct it and report publicly
6 that we had done so.
7 Q. Was the Foreign Affairs Committee report sufficient for
8 you to correct the record?
9 A. No. First of all, it was not unanimous; and secondly,
10 they clearly -- they say themselves they had not had
11 access to the information that would have allowed them
12 to take that decision.
13 Q. After the Foreign Affairs Committee report, were you
14 getting any other information which supported the stand
15 you were taking?
16 A. On the day the Foreign Affairs Committee reported, the
17 Chairman told me he had been telephoned by a Member of
18 Parliament who he knew quite well and he related the
19 substance of his telephone conversation to me and
20 I think this --
21 Q. Can I take you to BBC/6/136? Is this a redacted copy of
22 the note?
23 A. Yes. It is very redacted on my screen.
24 Q. It is not much better on mine.
25 A. Yes. Yes, yes, that is the --
1 Q. We did not do the redacting.
2 A. I apologise then. According to the Chairman, he had had
3 a phone call from an MP who had told him that an MI6
4 official had given -- he had had dinner with an MI6
5 official who had given him -- had a different view of
6 what had happened in terms of the dossier.
7 Q. And what was the effect on your approach of receiving
8 that sort of correspondence?
9 A. Well, I mean this was obviously -- by the time it
10 reached me, this was third or fourth hand. My reaction
11 was to first of all say to the Chairman: you must make
12 a note of this; and, secondly: could you ring the Member
13 of Parliament back and ask him is he willing to talk to
14 me? That he did. I then discussed it with the Member
15 of Parliament and said: would your MI6 source be willing
16 to talk to me?
17 Q. And was he?
18 A. Well, I got an e-mail at a later stage saying possibly
19 but he would need to check it, and of course then events
20 moved on because come the death of Dr Kelly and the
21 almost immediate establishment of this Inquiry, I did
22 not think it was my role to start chasing up leads of
23 that sort.
24 Q. After the FAC had reported, was there any attempt to
25 resolve the matters?
1 A. Well, on 8th July I was due to give the key note speech
2 at the Radio Festival in Birmingham and I went up to
3 Birmingham the night before; and I was telephoned by
4 Richard Sambrook, because the Chairman had been unable
5 to get hold of me, suggesting that there had been some
6 contact between Government and the Chairman and could
7 I make some conciliatory remarks.
8 Q. In your speech?
9 A. In my speech.
10 Q. Could I take you to BBC/27/24 and scroll down to about
11 halfway down the page? You said this:
12 "Today's papers are again replaying the row with
13 Alastair Campbell over our reporting of those famous
14 dossiers, hopefully for the last time. I don't want to
15 spend too much time on this.
16 "But let me say this, whatever the background of
17 Alastair Campbell's attack on the BBC, to criticise the
18 reputation of all BBC journalists by publicly accusing
19 us of lying and bias is not acceptable and I thank him
20 for stepping back from that position yesterday.
21 "This has now dominated the headlines for two weeks
22 and it is time for both sides to agree to disagree and
23 move on."
24 Was that your conciliatory remarks?
25 A. It was the beginning -- it was -- yes -- I hoped -- to
1 be fair, Alastair Campbell had said something quite
2 conciliatory already and it was an attempt to try to
3 build up that they could be conciliatory, we could, and
4 to try to get a way through this because it was clearly
5 a pretty unpleasant row that was not going to be easily
7 Q. It may be thought that it was not overly conciliatory to
8 say that: he has backed down and let us move on?
9 A. That is I suppose one interpretation of it. It felt
10 pretty conciliatory on the day. I mean, seriously, it
11 was. I mean I had got a phone call late the night
12 before. I could not start saying: I think we are wrong
13 on this and this and this because there was no -- I did
14 not have an information or anything else; but it was an
15 attempt to try to say: let us put this behind us. This
16 is, in some ways, an unnecessary row. As I said
17 earlier, one of the things that I still do not
18 understand in this process is why did not Alastair
19 Campbell go through the complaints process? Why did he
20 not come to us?
21 Q. Let me put the evidence he has given to you so you can
22 comment on it. He said he did not have much confidence
23 in that and that his view was partly vindicated by the
24 fact that the Governors supported the story in any event
25 on the 6th July.
1 A. Yes, but he could have gone to the complaints procedure
2 before that. He could have gone to the complaints
3 procedure before he had gone to the FAC. At any stage
4 he could have come to us. We have a fairly rigorous
5 complaints process. He chose not to use it. And I have
6 to say, you know, in one of his letters he said to me:
7 I have been living -- I think it was the letter to me
8 where he said: I have been living with this for nine
9 years, or something like that.
10 Actually, in the time I have been Director General
11 he has not ever come to me with a complaint, to my
12 knowledge, that I remember. He certainly has never gone
13 through the formal complaints process. That is the
14 point of having a complaints process.
15 LORD HUTTON: Mr Dingemans, it is now 4.30. I am quite
16 prepared to sit on for a time but perhaps the
17 stenographers would be content too. Thank you very
19 MR DINGEMANS: I think happily everyone has been warned we
20 may finish at 4.45. I sincerely hope it will be before
21 that in any event.
22 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
23 MR DINGEMANS: After the FAC have reported, we then hear of
24 Dr Kelly's identification --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- and the letters that were exchanged between Mr Davies
2 and Mr Hoon. I will not take you to that.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then Dr Kelly's evidence before the FAC. Can I just
5 ask you about some e-mails that were sent by Mr Gilligan
6 to the Foreign Affairs Committee? These are FAC/6/2.
7 This was in fact to a researcher to be passed on, you
8 see, to David Chidgey at the top.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. There are some suggested questions for Kelly. It is
11 also suggested at the bottom of the page:
12 "He has also told my colleague Susan Watts, Science
13 Editor of Newsnight."
14 If you go over the page to the top of 3, it is then
15 said what he said to Ms Watts.
16 A. Sure.
17 Q. Were you aware that Mr Gilligan was e-mailing members of
18 the Committee to this effect?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And what is your view of that e-mail?
21 A. Well, there is no way at this stage that Mr Gilligan
22 could have known Ms Watts' source because I did not know
23 Ms Watts' source and nor did anybody else at the BBC
24 other than Ms Watts and her editor. I just do not
25 think -- I think we would have to say that this is not
1 acceptable. It is not an acceptable e-mail to send to
2 members of the Committee. It is not unknown for
3 journalists to be asked to supply information to
4 committee members across the whole board of journalism,
5 but I think it is not acceptable that he was described.
6 He was not in a position to know the source, at that
7 stage, for Ms Watts and nor was he in a position to send
9 Q. After Dr Kelly had given evidence to the Foreign Affairs
10 Committee and indeed the Intelligence and Security
11 Committee, we have heard of his disappearance on
12 17th July and the news of the finding of his body on
13 18th July.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. When did you become aware of that news?
16 A. I was in the car, I got a phone call -- of the news that
17 he was missing?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. First thing on the Friday morning.
20 Q. And what did you do as a result of hearing that news?
21 A. Well, I immediately had a conversation with
22 Richard Sambrook and I think Gavyn Davies, the Chairman.
23 Richard -- no, I think it was Richard Sambrook and
24 Mark Damazer who is his deputy, and I took the view
25 immediately that if, as seemed likely at that stage,
1 Dr Kelly had died, that when it was confirmed he died we
2 no longer had a source to protect and that we should be
3 as open as we could be and that therefore we took
4 a decision that if Dr Kelly was dead, that we should say
5 that he was our source for Andrew Gilligan.
6 On the same day that he went missing of course
7 Susan Watts came to see, I think, Richard Sambrook and
8 told him that he was also the source for Susan Watts.
9 So we decided that we would have to announce both. It
10 was pretty clear to all of us I think that that is what
11 we had to do. My only input was we could not do this
12 before we had consulted the family. That was quite
13 difficult because what did we do -- we had to inform the
14 family rather than consultation because what would we do
15 if they did not consult us?
16 We did that on the Saturday afternoon after
17 Dr Kelly's body had been identified, and we were going
18 to announce that he was the source on the Saturday night
19 and then we were contacted again by the police and the
20 family liaison unit who -- the family asked us could we
21 not do it on the Saturday. Of course we accepted that
22 and did not do it until Sunday.
23 Q. Is there anything else that you know of the
24 circumstances surrounding Dr Kelly's death that you can
25 assist his Lordship with or anything else you would like
1 to say?
2 A. Well, I think I would say this: that, as I have said
3 earlier, what the processes of the last few weeks have
4 certainly exposed is that politics and journalism are
5 far from exact sciences, and the forensic examination
6 really of the events of May, June and July has revealed
7 I think areas where in hindsight we would have -- we
8 might have behaved differently. We might have done
9 things differently. Obviously we should learn from
11 Naturally we will not prejudge the findings of
12 the Inquiry before settling on any changes but I have
13 asked our General Counsel Nicholas Eldred to begin to
14 look at some of the lessons which we might learn from
15 this. For instance, I have asked him with assistance
16 from senior editorial figures in the BBC to look at
17 aspects of the producer guidelines, particularly
18 concerning anonymous sources and the description of
19 them. I have certainly asked that in future whether the
20 first of all broadcasts of controversial items should in
21 future be scripted as opposed to -- we will look again
22 at the use of the -- the concept of the two-way, in
23 terms of controversial pieces.
24 LORD HUTTON: I beg your pardon?
25 A. The concept of a two-way which is where there is
1 somebody in the studio and a reporter and they discuss
2 a story.
3 LORD HUTTON: I see. Thank you very much.
4 A. Richard Sambrook, as I think Gavyn Davies has already
5 told you, is himself looking and the whole executive
6 will discuss what should be the rules on BBC journalists
7 writing for other newspapers. As I say, I have no doubt
8 there will be lessons for us all to learn, but there
9 will certainly be lessons for the BBC to learn and we
10 will take account of those.
11 I would just end if I could by endorsing the
12 comments made by my Chairman and just say how much we
13 all regret the death of Dr David Kelly and again offer
14 our condolences to his family.
15 LORD HUTTON: Yes, thank you very much indeed Mr Dyke.
16 A. Thank you.
17 LORD HUTTON: I will rise now, Mr Dingemans, and sit at
18 10.30 tomorrow.
19 (4.40 pm)
20 (Hearing adjourned until 10.30 the following day)
3 MR ANTHONY JOHN CRAGG (called) ................... 12
5 Examined by MR DINGEMANS ..................... 12
7 AIR MARSHALL JOSEPH CHARLES FRENCH ............... 58
10 Examined by MR DINGEMANS ..................... 58
12 SIR RICHARD BILLING DEARLOVE ..................... 85
15 Examined by MR DINGEMANS ..................... 85
17 DR RICHARD PETER SCOTT (called) .................. 109
19 Examined by MR KNOX .......................... 109
21 MR GREGORY DYKE (called) ......................... 127
23 Examined by MR DINGEMANS ..................... 127