1 Wednesday, 17th September 2003
2 (10.30 am)
3 LORD HUTTON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
4 Yes, Mr Dingemans.
5 MR DINGEMANS: My Lord, can I just announce a few changes in
6 the timetable? Mr Wilding and Mr Sammes, computer
7 experts who were going to give evidence this morning
8 before Mr Gilligan gave his evidence, are in the course
9 still of meetings and they will not be available to give
10 evidence until tomorrow afternoon.
11 What will happen therefore will be that Mr Gilligan
12 will give his evidence as planned, and after the
13 computer experts have given their evidence tomorrow
14 afternoon he will give some further short evidence.
15 One reason there is space available tomorrow
16 afternoon is that Sir Kevin Tebbit has just undergone an
17 urgent eye operation and is not available, for medical
18 reasons, tomorrow afternoon.
19 The final change in the timetable is this, my Lord:
20 on Thursday 25th September the lunch adjournment will
21 take place between 12 o'clock and 1.15.
22 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much, Mr Dingemans.
23 MR DINGEMANS: My Lord, that is therefore Ms Rogers.
24 LORD HUTTON: Yes, thank you very much. Ms Rogers; and
25 Mr Gilligan, would you be good enough to take a seat
2 MR ANDREW GILLIGAN (called)
3 Examined by MS ROGERS
4 Q. Mr Gilligan, it has been some time since you were in the
5 witness box, going back to Day 3 on the 12th August. As
6 you have heard, the computer experts are going to give
7 evidence tomorrow and we are going to deal with any
8 points that arise on that about your computer notes
9 after that.
10 There are a few points I would like to go back over
11 before you are asked questions by Mr Sumption on behalf
12 of the Government.
13 The first matter is your meetings with Dr Kelly.
14 You have already given evidence of your first meeting in
15 early 2001 of which you have manuscript notes, your
16 second meeting on 11th April 2002, of which you have
17 a diary entry and some manuscript notes; and then there
18 is a matter which arose from what Dr David Kelly had
19 said, relating to a meeting which he believed had taken
20 place in September 2002 and it emerged he thought he had
21 met you at an IISS event.
22 Have you carried out any further checks since you
23 last gave evidence on that matter?
24 A. Yes. I have confirmed with the IISS that I was not in
25 fact at that event. They produced an attendance list
1 showing that Dr Kelly was there but I was not, and if
2 I had not been on the list I would not have been allowed
3 to attend. I have also confirmed that I was on holiday
4 during the time of that event.
5 Q. I think the dates of that event are thought to be 12th
6 to 14th September.
7 A. That is right; and I was, in fact, on holiday over that
8 weekend. I think we have some documentation, boat hire
9 documentation to support that.
10 Q. You are right about that. That, we believe, is on the
11 system at ANG/2/20.
12 I can see your home address is on that document,
13 perhaps that should have been taken off.
14 LORD HUTTON: I hope no-one will make a note of that. I am
15 sure they will not.
16 MS ROGERS: I am sure it will be blanked out. One sees the
17 start date, 13th September, and finish date of the 16th.
18 This is a confirmation letter that you were perhaps
19 a year ago on holiday.
20 A. That is right.
21 Q. We also have a letter from the IISS, not on the system
22 yet, that has been produced to the Inquiry confirming
23 that Mr Gilligan was not at the conference.
24 There was another meeting which Dr Kelly thought had
25 taken place in February 2003, although we have not been
1 able to find any date that Dr Kelly -- Dr Kelly did not
2 give a specific date. Again, have you been able to
3 check anything further as to the likelihood of
4 a February meeting?
5 A. I have done some further checks. As I said before,
6 there is no record of this in any of my diaries or
7 notebooks. I can say that I was away for work for
8 a good deal of that month. I was in New York for UN
9 debates on Iraq and I was also in Germany at a security
10 conference. I really was not in London much of that
11 month of February at all.
12 Q. So do you believe you met David Kelly at that time?
13 A. No.
14 Q. We all agree there was a meeting on 22nd May and your
15 organiser notes have been produced to the Inquiry. I am
16 not going to go back to those now.
17 You mentioned in your first evidence that you also
18 produced a longer manuscript note. Can you say when you
19 produced that?
20 A. Yes, that was produced the following day. It was a note
21 from the organiser notes and from memory of what
22 happened at the meeting.
23 Q. Can you throw any further light on what has happened to
24 that note?
25 A. I cannot find it. I think I have mislaid it. I have
1 looked quite hard for it.
2 Q. In addition to your organiser notes, there is a note
3 that you produced for Miranda Holt, which is at
5 Do you remember whether or not you had the
6 manuscript note at the time you prepared this note for
7 Ms Holt?
8 A. Yes, I did, yes.
9 Q. Can you remind the Inquiry why you made this note?
10 A. This was a note requested by the programme when
11 I offered them the story. They wanted a summary of
12 David Kelly's main quotes. As I have said in my
13 previous evidence, it does not purport to be a verbatim
14 transcript of what was said but it is a record of the
15 main highlights of what we discussed.
16 Q. Is the handwriting at the top of this note yours?
17 A. No, I do not think it is.
18 Q. Why did you not send your organiser note or manuscript
19 note to Ms Holt?
20 A. They were not in a form I could send. The organiser
21 note was on the organiser and it needs special software
22 to print it out or to e-mail it. The handwritten note,
23 I did not have access to a fax so I could not send the
24 handwritten note.
25 Q. Would you normally send original notes to the day editor
1 or to the overall editor before doing a Today item?
2 A. No, only if asked.
3 Q. Were you asked by anyone to send your original note
4 prior to the broadcast?
5 A. No, I was not.
6 Q. Now, in terms of what you then reported, you have
7 already explained in your evidence why you regarded
8 Dr Kelly as an authoritative source. You have also
9 explained the steps you took after speaking to him.
10 I am not going to go back over that. But I wonder if
11 you could, since it has been a long time since you were
12 here last, whether you could summarise in a few words
13 what it was you wanted to report and why, in relation to
14 your conversation with Dr Kelly?
15 A. Yes. It was that one source had told us that
16 the September dossier had been exaggerated, that it was
17 transformed to make it sexier and that the classic
18 example of that transformation was the claim that
19 Saddam's military planning allows some WMD to be ready
20 within 45 minutes. That information had not been in the
21 original draft. It was based on a single source; and
22 although it was real intelligence it was considered
23 unreliable, it was considered wrong and it was
24 considered misinterpreted. It had been included against
25 the wishes of many in the intelligence community and
1 most people in intelligence were not happy with the
2 dossier because it did not reflect the considered view
3 they were putting forward. That is what I understood
4 David Kelly had told me.
5 Q. We have lost the Miranda Holt note, but I think it is
6 right that all of those points were reflected in the
7 note to Ms Holt, BBC/7/61.
8 A. Yes, indeed, and in the broadcast.
9 Q. Had Dr Kelly said to you in terms that the Government
10 knew that the intelligence was wrong or unreliable?
11 A. No. But he did say that the statement that WMD were
12 ready for use in 45 minutes was unreliable, that it was
13 wrong and that it was included "against our wishes"; and
14 it was a logical conclusion to draw from this that those
15 wishes had been made known, as we now indeed know to
16 have been the case.
17 Q. Looking back at the broadcast, we find the transcript at
18 BBC/4/222. I am not going to go over this in great
19 detail because I anticipate that is going to happen
20 a little later. But you said in your first evidence
21 that certainly viewed with hindsight it would have been
22 better to script the 6.07 item.
23 A. Yes, that is right. I mean, the error I made here was
24 in expressing the understanding I had that the views had
25 been conveyed to the Government as something which
1 Dr Kelly had told me directly. It was not intentional,
2 it was the kind of slip of the tongue that does happen
3 often during live broadcasts. It is an occupational
4 hazard, which is why it would have been better to have
5 scripted this one.
6 Q. Can you scroll down to the bottom of that page?
7 I anticipate what you are referring to is the
8 sentence or phrase in the middle of that paragraph,
9 which has been highlighted very much in this Inquiry,
10 that the Government probably knew that the 45 minutes
11 figure was wrong.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You also refer, if we go over the page -- you use the
14 word "ordered".
15 Again, is that an exact word Dr Kelly had used?
16 A. No, it is not, but he clearly stated that the
17 transformation of the dossier was the responsibility of
18 Campbell, who had asked if anything else could be put
19 in. So again, it was a reasonable conclusion to draw
20 from what he had said.
21 Q. In terms, also, of the reason for the non-inclusion of
22 the 45 minutes, you say in this part of the broadcast,
23 it is at the top of BBC/4/223, which I think is up, that
24 the reason for the non-inclusion was that it had only
25 come from one source.
1 A. Yes. As I have said in my witness statement, that was
2 wrong, although I do not attribute that particular view
3 to David Kelly in fact. But that is clearly incorrect.
4 The reason it came in late, which is now accepted, was
5 that it simply was a matter of the timing when it
7 Q. It arrived late, but it was single sourced?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Again, what this broadcast has been said to be is
10 equivalent, essentially, to a charge of dishonesty.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Is that how you saw it at the time?
13 A. No, not at all. I mean, this was an allegation of spin,
14 of exaggeration. Politics is an arena in which such
15 allegations are the stock in trade. And this came as
16 part of a continuing debate over the authenticity of
17 some of the information in the dossier. And even on the
18 morning of the broadcast, for instance, there were two
19 or three articles in the newspapers, before I had said
20 a single word, explicitly accusing the Government and
21 the Prime Minister of lying over the dossier. So there
22 was a continuing and lively political debate. This did
23 not start it and did not set it off. This was regarded
24 by all of us as a contribution to that debate.
25 Q. If you had seen it as an allegation of out and out
1 dishonesty, would you have done anything different in
2 preparing the story?
3 A. Yes. There is a process, a BBC process. Everything has
4 to be scripted. The scripts have to be approved by the
5 lawyers and everyone, including the presenters, has to
6 stick to the scripts and that is for every appearance on
7 the programme.
8 LORD HUTTON: That is if there is a specific and express
9 allegation of dishonesty?
10 A. Yes.
11 MS ROGERS: Can you give an example from your own experience
12 of having to go through that procedure?
13 A. Yes. About a year ago I did a story in which a British
14 company offered to sell me anti-personnel land mines,
15 which are banned of course. That was a criminal act, an
16 illegal act. The relevant meeting was tape recorded.
17 We had the sales manager on tape offering to sell us the
18 land mines. Everything done on that story was scripted,
19 including the presenter cues, including all the
20 two-ways, and everything was passed through the lawyers
21 and the lawyers had to approve every word and we had to
22 stick to every word in all our output.
23 The reason this was not done in this case was it was
24 simply perceived as a different beast. This is
25 a political charge essentially.
1 Q. Was it suggested to you by anybody else, as part of the
2 editorial team, that you should be using, we will call
3 it the lawyered process?
4 A. No, it was not. And it was, you know, the story was
5 thoroughly discussed by the whole editorial team.
6 Q. If we scroll on down from the 6.07 unscripted item, we
7 get to the 7.32. It starts on page 225. We see there
8 John Humphrys giving the time and then introducing the
9 item. If we look at the end of Mr Humphrys' words:
10 "Are you suggesting, let's be very clear about this,
11 that it was not the work of the intelligence agencies?"
12 You go on to say:
13 "No, the information which I'm told was dubious did
14 come from the agencies..."
15 Can you explain why you use those words? That is,
16 as I understand it, before you get to the scripted part?
17 A. Yes, that is right. I was conscious that the 6.07
18 broadcast might have left some with the impression that
19 this material had been in some way fabricated or that it
20 was not real intelligence. That was not the impression
21 I intended to give, and I think a reading of it does not
22 support that impression; but I was concerned in case it
23 had given that impression and I wanted to correct it at
24 the earliest opportunity, which I did. And it was
25 a correction I returned to at many points in the future.
1 Q. Perhaps I will leave that. I will come back to that.
2 You report on this story not just on the 29th but in
3 later broadcasts, and I am sure that the Inquiry has
4 them and you may be asked about some of them. But, in
5 fact, is it right that the next day, the 29th itself,
6 you were not reporting on this story at all?
7 A. On the 30th, no, I was reporting on a different story
8 then, the potential dispatch of British peace keeping
9 troops to the Congo.
10 Q. Did you speak to anybody at the MoD about that story?
11 A. Yes, I did. I spoke to the chief press officer,
12 Kate Wilson.
13 Q. Do you remember what date you would have spoken to her?
14 A. That would have been on the 29th.
15 Q. The only other matters I wanted to deal with, very
16 briefly, in fact is the question of the 28th June, so we
17 are moving on to a month after this broadcast, when
18 there is a Today broadcast on a Saturday morning where
19 Ben Bradshaw has an interview with John Humphrys.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you remember whether you heard that broadcast at the
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. What did you do after you had heard it?
25 A. When I heard John Humphrys say that the story had been
1 checked with the MoD, I rang the Ministry of Defence
2 duty press officer to remind her of how I had approached
3 the MoD with regard to the story.
4 Q. Do you remember who you spoke to?
5 A. It was the duty press officer, who is Leanne.
6 Q. And why did you do that?
7 A. I anticipated that the Ministry of Defence might say
8 that I had not run the story past them and I wanted to
9 remind them about the call I had made to Kate Wilson on
10 the evening of the 28th in which I had run the story
11 past them.
12 Q. I know that you are aware that Kate Wilson gave evidence
13 about that call yesterday; but what was your purpose in
14 ringing Kate Wilson on 28th May prior to the broadcast?
15 A. My purpose -- the programme team had decided that the
16 way to include the Ministry of Defence -- the Government
17 response to my original broadcast was to invite
18 Adam Ingram, the Defence Minister, who was due on anyway
19 to talk about cluster bombs, to answer questions on it;
20 and two members of the programme team made calls to the
21 Ministry of Defence to tell them about this and I made
22 a third call to Kate Wilson at 7.30 in the evening of
23 the 28th to -- again, to tell them.
24 LORD HUTTON: To tell them what, Mr Gilligan?
25 A. To give them the story that I was going to run and to
1 allow them to brief Mr Ingram so he was able to respond
2 to it.
3 LORD HUTTON: Did you give any details of the story you were
4 going to run?
5 A. Yes, I gave the gist of the allegations, which is that
6 the dossier had been exaggerated and that there was
7 concern in the Intelligence Services about the inclusion
8 of the 45 minutes claim or the ready in 45 minutes
9 claim, and that people in intelligence did not think it
10 reflected the considered views they were putting
12 MS ROGERS: It is right that you have no notes of that
14 A. No. Indeed, I do not think Ms Wilson has either.
15 Q. All we know is it lasted 7 minutes 24 seconds.
16 A. Yes, 7 and a half minutes. I understand Ms Wilson has
17 said I spoke about cluster bombs. I may have spoken
18 briefly about cluster bombs but the cluster bombs story
19 was not my story. I did not know what it was.
20 Q. Had you spoken to Ms Wilson about cluster bombs on
21 previous occasions?
22 A. I may have done, certainly. But on this occasion the
23 cluster bombs story was another reporter's story. I did
24 not know what the story was.
25 Q. It is Ian Watson who is the cluster bombs story.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Had you done any work on Ian Watson's story?
3 A. No, I do not think I would have spent 7 and a half
4 minutes talking about another reporter's story.
5 Q. One final matter before I leave you to Mr Sumption. We
6 have heard, since you gave your evidence last time,
7 about an e-mail that you sent on 14th July to some
8 members of the Foreign Affairs Committee Select
9 Committee. I hesitate to have it called up, but it is
10 BBC/12/22. Is there anything you want to say about that
11 e-mail to this Inquiry?
12 A. Yes. It was quite wrong to send it and I can only
13 apologise. I did not even know for sure that
14 David Kelly was Susan Watts' source. I was under an
15 enormous amount of pressure at the time and I simply was
16 not thinking straight, so I really do want to apologise
17 for that.
18 MS ROGERS: Thank you, Mr Gilligan.
19 Cross-examination by MR SUMPTION
20 Q. Mr Gilligan, I would like to ask you first about your
21 6.07 broadcast, where you said that the Government
22 probably knew that the 45 minutes figure was wrong even
23 before they put it in.
24 You made a point a few minutes ago about the
25 difference between dishonesty and spin. If a Government
1 puts into a dossier which it lays before Parliament
2 a statement which it probably knows to be wrong, is that
3 an allegation that they are dishonest, in your book?
4 A. I think the allegation here that I was trying to convey
5 was that the claim in the form in which it was made was
6 considered to be wrong, considered to be unreliable and
7 considered to be misinterpreted by many in the
8 intelligence community; and that form being that
9 Saddam's military planning allows some WMD to be ready
10 within 45 minutes of an order to use them.
11 Q. But when you said that the Government probably knew that
12 it was wrong, you were actually saying, whether you
13 intended to or not, that they were dishonest, were you
15 A. The allegation I intended to make was of spin, but as
16 I say, I do regard those words as imperfect and I should
17 not have said them.
18 Q. And the reason why you should not have said them is that
19 they did, in fact, accuse the Government of dishonesty,
20 whether or not that was your intention.
21 A. I think that is probably right, yes. But I really did
22 try and repeatedly make it clear on subsequent occasions
23 that I was not accusing the Government of lying or
24 fabrication. I said that the intelligence was real.
25 I said at 7.32 -- I said on subsequent broadcasts on
1 31st May that I was not accusing the Government of lying
2 or fabrication or of making this up. I said it also
3 repeatedly to the Foreign Affairs Committee, to the
4 Spectator and in The Mail on Sunday.
5 Q. I think you accepted on the last occasion that you gave
6 evidence here, and more or less accepted this morning,
7 that that particular allegation, that the Government
8 probably knew that the 45 minutes figure was wrong, was
9 something that you could not support?
10 A. It was not sufficiently supported. It did not have no
11 support. David Kelly did not say it in terms but he did
12 say that the statement that WMD were ready for use in
13 45 minutes was unreliable. He said it was wrong. He
14 said it was included "against our wishes". And the
15 conclusion I drew from that was that the wishes had been
16 expressed and the wishes had been made known, which is
17 something we do now know to be the case.
18 Q. You accept, I think, that it was expressed by you as
19 something that your source had said, whereas in fact it
20 was an inference of your own?
21 A. Yes, that is right, that was my mistake.
22 Q. The same is true, is it not, of the word "ordered"; that
23 was not something that Dr Kelly had said, it was
24 Gilligan speaking not Kelly, was it not?
25 A. Yes. It was my interpretation of what he had said.
1 Q. You have suggested in your evidence, on a number of
2 occasions, a few minutes ago, for example, that you did
3 not intend to make it at 6.07 and you expressed yourself
4 in different terms at 7.32. I want to turn to what you
5 did say at 7.32. You probably have in front of you, in
6 fact I can see you do, a blue folder with a hard copy of
7 your evidence last time.
8 A. Right.
9 Q. I am just pointing that out now. I will want to refer
10 to it from time to time. It has also been scanned so it
11 can be put on the overhead screen.
12 What you actually broadcast at 7.32 was a slightly
13 different allegation of bad faith, was it not? Namely,
14 that the Intelligence Services did not want the
15 45 minutes point in the dossier because they thought
16 that their informant had got it wrong. You said that
17 the Government overruled them and put it in anyway.
18 That was the substance of your statement, was it not?
19 A. Did I use those words?
20 Q. No, it is the substance of it. Would you like to see
21 the actual words that you did use?
22 A. I have them in front of me here in fact.
23 Q. For the benefit of everyone else, it is at BBC/1/5.
24 LORD HUTTON: What were the particular words you are
25 referring to, Mr Sumption?
1 MR SUMPTION: If you have the transcript of the broadcast,
2 at 7.32 we first of all have an introduction by
3 John Humphrys. Then you say at the bottom of the page:
4 "No, the information which I'm told was dubious did
5 come from the agencies, but they were unhappy about it,
6 because they didn't think it should have been in there.
7 They thought it was, it was not corroborated
8 sufficiently, and they actually thought it was wrong,
9 they thought the informant concerned [I take that to be
10 the Intelligence Services' informant] had got it wrong,
11 they thought he'd misunderstood what was happening."
12 Over the page, you go through some of the
13 background, the circumstances in which the dossier was
15 "This is quite a serious document. It dominated the
16 news that day and you open up the dossier and the first
17 thing you see is a preface by Tony Blair that includes
18 the following words, 'Saddam's military planning allows
19 for some weapons of mass destruction to be ready within
20 45 minutes of an order to deploy them'. Now that claim
21 has come back to haunt Mr Blair because if the weapons
22 had been readily to hand, they probably would have been
23 found by now. But you know, it could have been an
24 honest mistake, but what I have been told is that the
25 Government knew that claim was questionable, even before
1 the war, even before they wrote it in their dossier."
2 Do you not regard that as being an allegation of bad
4 A. The first part of the quote that you gave me, the
5 information that they were unhappy about it, they did
6 not think it should have been in there, they thought it
7 was not corroborated sufficiently and they thought it
8 was wrong, they thought the informant had misunderstood
9 what was happening, that is a perfectly -- that is an
10 accurate reflection of what Dr Kelly had told me.
11 "What I have been told is that the Government knew
12 that claim was questionable" is again my interpretation
13 of what he had told me. But "questionable" is a word
14 I would be happier about defending than "wrong" because
15 quite clearly questions had been raised about this claim
16 and they had been conveyed to Government.
17 Q. What you are saying, in that last sentence, is it could
18 have been an honest mistake but what you have been told
19 is that it was not, because the Government realised the
20 claim was questionable when they put it in. That is my
21 paraphrase, but it is quite plainly what is being
22 conveyed in that sentence, is it not?
23 A. When I say it could have been an honest mistake, indeed
24 earlier on in 6.07 when I said if the Government knew it
25 was wrong, I am quite clearly expressing there that I do
1 not adopt the statement as necessarily true. I am not
2 making a hard and fast allegation of dishonesty and
3 wrongdoing here; I am saying that this is something
4 which has been -- something which has been said,
5 something which has been questioned. I am not saying
6 that we adopt it as true.
7 Q. But you just told us, Mr Gilligan, that it was not
8 something that Dr Kelly said, it was an inference of
10 A. Yes, it was the -- the path which led me to this is
11 clear. Although David Kelly did not say it in terms, he
12 said that the statement that WMD was ready for use in
13 45 minutes was unreliable. He said it was wrong. He
14 said it had been misinterpreted. And that the
15 Intelligence Services, that it had been included against
16 the wishes of the Intelligence Services; and quite
17 clearly those wishes would have been expressed.
18 Now, the wishes included the questioning of this
20 Q. You had read the dossier, of course, had you not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you realised, did you not, that the dossier had
23 said, in terms, that it reflected the views of the
24 Intelligence Services. You did realise that, did you
1 A. The dossier was described as a production of the Joint
2 Intelligence Committee, yes.
3 Q. And the executive summary said that it reflected their
5 A. If you say so. I am not sure about that exact phrase.
6 Q. What you were saying, in both your broadcasts, was that
7 when the Government put forward the dossier as being
8 based on the views of the Intelligence Services, that
9 was untrue because the 45 minutes point did not in fact
10 reflect the view of the Intelligence Services as
11 expressed to them. That is what you were saying on both
12 occasions, was it not?
13 A. The particular way in which the 45 minutes point was
14 worded in the Prime Minister's foreword had concerned
15 many within the Intelligence Services; that was the
16 claim I reported, and it is a claim we now know to be
18 Q. You did realise that the dossier had claimed to be based
19 on the views of the Intelligence Services and in both
20 your broadcasts you were saying that that was wrong
21 because the Government had in fact been given views from
22 the Intelligence Services that were inconsistent with
24 A. The concerns in the Intelligence Services about the
25 45 minutes claim as it was worded had been expressed to
1 the Joint Intelligence Committee, to the assessment
2 staff of the JIC, and that was the intention of what
3 I was trying to convey.
4 Q. Is it the BBC's policy that when a serious allegation is
5 made against public figures as coming from an anonymous
6 source, it should be an authoritative source?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Would you agree that is a basic principle of reputable
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Would you agree that one reason for that is that when
12 you broadcast an allegation as coming from an anonymous
13 source you are not just saying: I have met a man who has
14 said these things, you are putting his allegations into
15 the public domain as worthy of belief. Would you accept
17 A. As worthy of reporting, certainly, yes.
18 Q. Not as worthy of belief?
19 A. As I say, we did not adopt these allegations as true,
20 but nonetheless their broadcast on a medium like Radio 4
21 implies a certain level of credibility to the source,
22 which David Kelly had.
23 Q. You would not regard it as reputable journalism, would
24 you, to broadcast an anonymous allegation which you did
25 not think was worthy of belief?
1 A. We believed that this allegation was in line with
2 a great deal else that had been said on this subject,
3 and that it was consistent with other evidence which had
4 emerged although, as I said in my earlier evidence,
5 there was no corroboration for the exact claims.
6 Q. You had a number of meetings with Dr Kelly before
7 22nd May; and you knew, did you not, that he worked in
8 the Ministry of Defence?
9 A. Yes. My understanding of Dr Kelly's role was that he
10 was a bit more peripatetic than that, that he, to use
11 his own words, drifted between various Government
12 departments such as the Foreign Office, the Ministry of
13 Defence. He also did work for the Intelligence
15 Q. In the BBC database of contacts he is described as
16 working for the Ministry of Defence, is he not?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You knew he was a scientist and a senior adviser to the
19 Ministry of Defence on chemical and biological warfare?
20 A. Yes, I had seen him described in one of the standard
21 reference works as the chief adviser to the Ministry of
22 Defence on biological warfare.
23 Q. Yes. And that was in substance, I am not quoting the
24 exact words, how he described himself, was it not?
25 A. He described himself as somebody who told the
1 intelligence agencies what intelligence on WMD meant;
2 this is at one of our earlier meetings. I mean, he was
3 too modest to describe his own status, but I had ample
4 descriptions from other sources of his status as the
5 pre-eminent expert on WMD, particularly Iraqi WMD, in
6 Britain and indeed one of the pre-eminent ones in the
8 Q. In your broadcasts on 29th May in the Today Programme
9 you described your source as one of the senior officials
10 in charge of drawing up the dossier; do you remember
12 A. Yes, that was a description I had agreed with him.
13 Q. Could we have up the actual text, please, at BBC/1/5 and
14 following? That description suggests, does it not, that
15 he not only contributed advice relating to his own
16 special field but actually had managerial responsibility
17 for putting the document together, he was part of the
18 editorial team as it were? Would you agree that is what
19 one would deduce from your description of him?
20 A. Yes, and that was one of the reasons why I believed that
21 the doubts he said had been -- had been made known or
22 the doubts he said had been expressed would have been
23 made known to others in charge of drawing up the
24 dossier. His description as one of those in charge was
25 another one of the reasons why I believed it was
1 justifiable to say that the Government had known.
2 Q. Are you saying Dr Kelly actually described himself as
3 one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up the
5 A. At the end of our May 22nd meeting I asked him how he
6 wanted to be described in the reporting and offered him
7 two alternatives, a senior official involved with the
8 dossier or one of the senior officials in charge of
9 drawing up the dossier. He was happy with both
10 alternatives, he said: fine. I believe he agreed to the
11 second description because he was in fact in charge of
12 one section of the dossier.
13 Q. That is substantially the same as the evidence that you
14 gave in phase 1; and as I understand what you said, both
15 in phase 1 and just now, this came up at the end of your
16 meeting on 22nd May?
17 A. Yes, it did.
18 Q. He had not at any earlier stage of the meeting said that
19 he was one of those in charge of the drawing up of the
21 A. No, although at our 11th April 2002 meeting he had
22 been -- he had described to me his involvement then in
23 the dossier and he had said --
24 Q. In the other dossier?
25 A. No, in the dossier that was eventually to come out
1 in September.
2 Q. Right.
3 A. And again, he had told me then that he advised on the --
4 he advised the Intelligence Services on the claims
5 relating to biological and chemical weapons.
6 Q. He was talking about an earlier version of the dossier
7 or an earlier dossier, but in fact what your note says,
8 I can have it up on the screen if you would like, is
9 "Kelly role to advise on all CBW claims in dossier";
10 that is what you are referring to, is it?
11 A. That is right.
12 Q. That is very far from saying he was in charge of drawing
13 it up.
14 A. Yes, but that was a description I agreed with him at the
15 subsequent meeting in May.
16 Q. I would like to get some impression of this discussion
17 that occurred at the end of your meeting of 22nd May.
18 At the end of the meeting you were getting his agreement
19 to the use of particular phrases?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And when you came to the description of himself, as
22 I understand your evidence, you offered him two
23 alternative descriptions of himself: "one of the senior
24 officials in charge of drawing up the dossier" and "the
25 senior official in charge of drawing up the dossier".
1 That is right, is it not?
2 A. No, that is not correct and there is a transcription
3 error, I think, in LiveNote on this which we have had
4 corrected. The alternatives I offered him was "one of
5 the senior officials in charge of drawing up the
6 dossier" or "a senior official involved in drawing up
7 the dossier".
8 Q. Let us just have a look at the transcript of the
9 evidence that you gave last time. You will find it at
10 page 136 of the hard copy and I think arrangements can
11 be made to flash that up on the screen.
12 LORD HUTTON: Mr Sumption, would you be good enough to give
13 me the paragraph numbers at some stage?
14 MR SUMPTION: In the internal numbering it is page 136. In
15 the top numbering it is page 19 of 37 in my version,
16 but --
17 LORD HUTTON: Yes. Thank you very much.
18 MR SUMPTION: The answer I have in mind is at line 11:
19 "At the end of the meeting I agreed, as part of the
20 quote agreement process, how I would describe him in any
21 report that I did and I offered him two alternatives,
22 one of the senior officials involved in drawing up the
23 dossier or the senior official in charge of drawing up
24 the dossier and he said 'both fine'. He just said
25 either was fine."
1 Is that evidence you wish to correct?
2 A. I have already corrected it.
3 Q. Tell us what the correction we should make is.
4 A. It should read:
5 "At the end of the meeting I agreed, as part of the
6 quote agreement process, how I would describe him in any
7 report that I did and I offered him two alternatives,
8 one of the senior officials involved in drawing up the
9 dossier or one of the senior officials in charge of
10 drawing up the dossier."
11 So the words "one of". That was corrected
12 immediately afterwards because we could see that that
13 transcript had got it wrong.
14 Q. What exactly are you doing in this discussion? Are you
15 agreeing a description of Dr Kelly which will disguise
16 his identity or are you agreeing a description which
17 will accurately describe his role?
18 A. No, we are agreeing a description with which he was
20 Q. I am a bit puzzled by the fact these descriptions came
21 from you. As I understand your evidence, he had not
22 described himself in this way earlier in the meeting and
23 yet at the end of the meeting you make suggestions to
24 him as to how he might properly be described when he had
25 not in fact said anything of that sort to you before?
1 A. Well, since I was the one to be doing the describing,
2 I think it reasonable that I ask him how he wanted to be
4 Q. Well, you did not ask him how he wanted to be described,
5 you suggested to him a description.
6 A. But, I mean, he was at full liberty to reject that
7 description. He was very well used to dealing with
8 journalists. He knew well that if he had not wanted me
9 to use that particular form of words, he would just have
10 said "no" and I would not have used it. I mean,
11 Dr Kelly was not a man into whose mouth you could put
13 Q. He left you with the alternatives. You could take your
14 pick between them, could you?
15 A. Yes, he said fine.
16 Q. What do you see as the difference between the two
18 A. "Involved" is clearly a lesser description, if you like,
19 than "in charge of".
20 Q. So there is a difference, you accept?
21 A. Yes, there is.
22 Q. And you were allowed to choose which description you
23 were going to use, were you, even though they were
25 A. Well, the one does not -- I mean, "in charge of" does
1 not exclude "involved".
2 Q. No, but the other one is much weaker, is it not?
3 A. Yes, but they were not mutually exclusive.
4 Q. As I understand your evidence, Mr Gilligan, you are
5 saying that at a time when Dr Kelly had said nothing
6 about his role in this dossier, you proposed two
7 different alternative methods of describing his role,
8 which were different, and he calmly said to you: you can
9 choose whichever you like best. That is basically your
10 evidence, is it not?
11 A. He said "fine" to either description.
12 Q. Is that really a credible version of events? You are
13 suggesting that he left to you the decision of how you
14 were going to describe his role as between those two
16 A. If he had wished to make a different description, he
17 would have said so at that point; and I would have of
18 course used it.
19 Q. Which one of those two did you think was accurate?
20 A. Well, that was one of the reasons I asked; and I think
21 it was absolutely clear that he was heavily involved in
22 drawing up the dossier. I also believed, and we now
23 know, that he was in fact in charge of one section. So
24 the description "one of those in charge" is not in fact
1 Q. Dr Kelly, as you said a moment ago, was a modest man; he
2 never made such extravagant claims about his own role,
3 did he?
4 A. I am not sure. I have not had access to the full record
5 of --
6 Q. To you, I mean. He never made such extravagant claims
7 to you about the particular role which he had played in
8 the drawing up of the dossier.
9 A. He had said at the earlier meeting, the April meeting,
10 that his role was to advise on all CBW and chemical and
11 biological weapons claims in the dossier. That struck
12 me as a relatively wide ranging role, although expressed
13 in modest language.
14 Q. You are thinking back again to the April meeting about
15 the four country dossier?
16 A. No, the -- it had already been announced by that stage
17 that a dossier exclusively on Iraq was to be published
18 at some point.
19 Q. It is not recorded in your personal organiser note or in
20 the note that you gave to Miranda Holt on 28th May that
21 Dr Kelly had this very prominent role, managerial role,
22 in the preparation of the dossier, is it?
23 A. No, but I conveyed it orally to the editorial team when
24 I discussed the story with them on the 28th.
25 Q. If you were making a note of the most important things
1 that he had to say to you and he really had claimed to
2 have been one of those in charge of the process, you
3 would surely have recorded that, would you not?
4 A. As I said in my first evidence, I certainly should have
5 recorded that; and I had put my organiser away by then,
6 in fact.
7 Q. He never said any such thing to you, did he?
8 A. Yes, he did.
9 Q. Did you appreciate that if you did describe him as one
10 of the senior officials in charge of drawing up the
11 dossier people would take your report more seriously?
12 A. No, that was not the intention. The intention was to
13 describe his function in respect of the dossier
15 Q. Do you accept that Dr Kelly never described himself to
16 you as a member of the Intelligence Services?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You accept that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could we have up, please, BBC/1/18? This is
21 a transcript of your Radio 5 Live broadcast on 29th May,
22 shortly after the Today broadcast. If you look about
23 eight lines up from the bottom of the page you say:
24 "... what my Intelligence Service source says is
25 that essentially they were always suspicious about this
2 Why did you describe him as your Intelligence
3 Service source?
4 A. I do not know, it was a mistake. It was the kind of
5 mistake that does arise in live broadcasting.
6 Q. Is that right?
7 A. It is ex tempore. That was the only time in all my
8 broadcasts, and there were 19 of them on this subject,
9 that I described him in this way. That is a mistake
10 that I have already admitted to.
11 Q. Did you realise if you described him as an Intelligence
12 Service source people would find your report both more
13 exciting and more credible?
14 A. No, no, that was not -- as I say, there was no conscious
15 purpose in doing it in this broadcast, it was simply
16 a slip of the tongue.
17 Q. Were you aware that the World at One on 29th May
18 described your source as "a member of the Security
20 A. No.
21 Q. You were not?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Were you aware that Richard Sambrook, the Director of
24 News, in his interview on the Today Programme on
25 26th June, described your source as "a senior and
1 credible source in the Intelligence Services"?
2 A. Not until he said it. I was listening to the interview.
3 Q. And when he had said it, did you suggest that there
4 should be some correction?
5 A. When I spoke to Richard about the source later that day
6 or the following day, I did say that that was wrong.
7 Q. And was it corrected?
8 A. I do not know. I do not think it was, no.
9 Q. Do you know why not?
10 A. Well, that is not a matter for me because I did not say
12 Q. Yes, but I am asking you whether you know why not. If
13 you do not, say no.
14 A. I do not know, I am afraid.
15 Q. Were you aware the Governors of the BBC described him as
16 "an intelligence source" in their press release
17 following their meeting of 6th July?
18 A. Yes, when I read the press release.
19 Q. Were you happy with that?
20 A. No, but again there was not very much I could do about
22 Q. You could suggest it was time for a corrective
23 statement, could you not?
24 A. The BBC, and I suspect other media organisations, do not
25 work in a way where their reporters can tell the
1 Governors what to say.
2 Q. You were perfectly happy, were you not, that your
3 reports should carry the spurious authority of a senior
4 member of the Intelligence Services when you knew they
5 were not entitled to that authority, is that not the
7 A. Apart from that one 5 Live report, none of my reports,
8 none of my references to this story in any way referred
9 to the source as being a member of the Intelligence
11 Q. Do you remember telling the Foreign Affairs Committee of
12 the House of Commons, when you appeared before them for
13 the first time, that your source was in the Intelligence
15 A. No, I did not. I was asked whether he was in the --
16 whether he was a member of the Intelligence Services,
17 and I said a couple of times that I could not
18 distinguish between the Intelligence Services and the
19 Civil Service. I was asked to make the distinction and
20 I said I would not. It was in reply to a question by
21 John Maples.
22 Q. Could you be please be shown FAC/2/166?
23 This is part of your transcript of your evidence to
24 the Foreign Affairs Committee first time round.
25 Question 559, the Chairman of the Committee asks you:
1 "Can I sum up the position as this: you approached,
2 on your initiative, a source in the Intelligence
4 And your answer is "Yes".
5 "Is that correct?
6 "Absolutely, yes. Well, I would characterise this
7 source in the same way as a characterised him on the
9 Are you not giving evidence to this Committee that
10 your source was in fact in the Intelligence Services?
11 A. No, I am saying there explicitly that I would
12 characterise this source in the same way as
13 I characterised him on the programme, namely as an
14 official, a senior official involved in drawing up the
15 dossier or as one of the senior officials in charge of
16 drawing up the dossier. That is explicitly what I said
17 to the Committee.
18 Q. Why, when the Chairman asked you whether you had
19 approached on your initiative a source in the
20 Intelligence Services, did you say "yes" instead of
21 correcting him?
22 A. But I did correct him.
23 Q. You did not correct him, you allowed him to think that
24 you had said in your broadcasts, as indeed you had said
25 in at least one of them, that your source was in the
1 Intelligence Services.
2 A. No, I corrected him. I said:
3 "Well, I would characterise this source in the same
4 way as I characterised him on the programme", the Today
5 Programme --
6 LORD HUTTON: What do the words "Absolutely, yes" mean,
7 Mr Gilligan?
8 A. That is -- I mean, that answer quite clearly says that
9 I would characterise the source in the same way as
10 I characterised him on the programme. I realise that
11 the impression may have been given by that "Yes" that he
12 was a member of the Intelligence Services, so I moved to
13 correct it.
14 MR SUMPTION: If you realised you had been giving him the
15 impression he was in the Intelligence Services, surely
16 the right way of correcting it is to say: I need to
17 correct that statement, Mr Chairman, he was not in the
18 Intelligence Services.
19 A. I was concerned when people said he was in the
20 Intelligence Services not to be that specific in
21 correction, because that, I thought, would jeopardise
22 the source because it would narrow it down too much.
23 I wanted to -- I did not want to exclude the possibility
24 that he was in the Intelligence Services because had
25 I done that then the focus would have narrowed
1 inevitably on somebody in the -- not in the Intelligence
2 Services, which might have been too narrow and might
3 have led to the identification of this source. That is
4 why I used the correction in that form "I would
5 characterise this source in the same way as
6 I characterised him on the programme". If I had ruled
7 out his membership of the Intelligence Services that
8 would have narrowed down the source too much.
9 Q. In other words, you were reluctant to say to them that
10 he was not in the Intelligence Services in spite of
11 previously having said that he was?
12 A. No, I was -- I wanted to be consistent in my description
13 of the source as a senior official involved in drawing
14 up the dossier or one of the senior officials in charge
15 of drawing up the dossier; and that description was
16 accurate but it was not narrow enough to lead to the
17 potential identification of the source.
18 Q. Could you, please, be shown FAC/5/26.
19 This is part of your evidence to the Foreign Affairs
20 Committee, second time round, on 17th July. At this
21 point of your evidence you are saying -- let us read
22 what you did say:
23 "Based on a comparison of my evidence to the
24 Committee and Dr Kelly's evidence to the Committee, the
25 Committee has already come to the judgment that Dr Kelly
1 was not the source."
2 That was a reference to the Committee's earlier
3 report and to the evidence which had been given by
4 Dr Kelly the day before. You then go on:
5 "He met me in an hotel, okay that is the same; he
6 said he did not have access to intelligence information
7 about the 45 minutes; he said he did not bring up
8 Alastair Campbell's role in the dossier; he said he was
9 not a member of the intelligence community; he said he
10 was not in charge of drawing up the dossier, he said we
11 did not start off by talking about the railways.
12 I really do have nothing to add to my evidence or the
13 evidence of Dr Kelly."
14 Now what you are doing here is you are pointing to
15 a number of things that Dr Kelly had told the Foreign
16 Affairs Committee when he was giving evidence which were
17 not consistent with what you had said about your own
18 source. That, in summary, is what you were doing here,
19 was it not?
20 A. I was attempting to protect Dr Kelly as my source
21 without --
22 Q. We will come to your motive in a moment. Were you
23 seeking to say to the Foreign Affairs Committee that
24 there were differences between Dr Kelly's role as he had
25 described it and your source's role as you had described
2 A. I was reporting what he had said to the Foreign Affairs
3 Committee at his appearance; and he had said that there
4 were a number of differences between my account of our
5 meeting and his account of our meeting; and I was using
6 those differences to try to steer the Foreign Affairs
7 Committee away from the conclusion that he was my
8 source, a conclusion which they had already rejected.
9 Q. Each of these points that you list here from Dr Kelly's
10 evidence is a point on which you were saying Dr Kelly
11 did not resemble your source; that is right, is it not?
12 A. No, it is me reporting what Dr Kelly had told the
13 Foreign Affairs Committee. I am not making a judgment
14 on whether it is right or not. I was --
15 Q. No, but you are -- sorry.
16 A. You know, I was clearly -- clearly if I had said, "Well,
17 actually this is wrong", then that would have identified
18 Dr Kelly as my source, which is not something that
19 I would want to do.
20 Q. What you are doing is pointing to inconsistencies
21 between the description of your source and Dr Kelly's
22 description of himself; you agree, do you not?
23 A. I was pointing to what Dr Kelly had said to the
24 Committee; and he had said that he did not have access
25 to intelligence information about the 45 minutes, for
1 instance. Now, obviously I knew that to be wrong; but
2 had I said it to be wrong I would have betrayed
3 Dr Kelly's identity as my source. I was content,
4 therefore, simply to report it. The purpose of this
5 hearing was to -- this second committee hearing, was to
6 try to get me to reveal my source, which is simply not
7 something I was prepared to do.
8 Q. One of the inconsistencies that you pointed out in your
9 evidence to the Committee was that Dr Kelly had said
10 that he was not a member of the intelligence community.
11 You pointed that out because you had said that he was,
12 and that was therefore an inconsistency between the two
13 descriptions. Is that not right?
14 A. Yes, and he was a member of the intelligence community,
15 the broader intelligence community which shared -- he
16 had access, as he said himself in his evidence to the
17 Foreign Affairs Committee, to all the intelligence
18 relevant to his specialism, biological and chemical
19 weapons. He told me, and others, that he interpreted
20 intelligence on CBW for the Security Services and he
21 worked closely with them. We now know obviously that he
22 had the highest security clearance and he was considered
23 the leading expert in this field, which is intelligence
25 Q. You knew Dr Kelly had given evidence he might not be
1 your source because he was not a member of the
2 Intelligence Services; and you were seeking to throw
3 dust in the eyes of the Committee by challenging that
4 account as a description of your source, were you not?
5 A. I make a clear distinction between a member of the
6 Intelligence Services, which was not something I said
7 about Dr Kelly except on that one mistaken occasion
8 which we have discussed, and a member of the
9 intelligence community, which I think is a very fair
10 description of Dr Kelly.
11 Q. Mr Pope deduced from what you have just said, if you
12 look at question 268:
13 "What you are suggesting is that Dr Kelly was not
14 the source."
15 That is what you were suggesting, is it not?
16 A. It was not in fact what I was suggesting. I was not
17 making any suggestion. I was simply reporting what he
18 had said to the Foreign Affairs Committee.
19 Q. There is a world of difference, is there not, between
20 protecting your sources by saying nothing about them and
21 telling lies about them?
22 A. Yes, but I do not think I did tell any lies about
23 Dr Kelly.
24 Q. You sought to mislead.
25 A. No, I did not. I think -- this is simply just a factual
1 account of what he said to the Foreign Affairs
3 Q. Would you, please, look at a press release which you
4 authorised to be issued on your behalf on 20th July,
5 which you find at BBC/6/261? Would you like to read the
6 first substantial paragraph there, the one under the
7 heading "Statement issued on behalf of Andrew Gilligan":
8 "I want to make it clear that I did not misquote or
9 misrepresent Dr David Kelly. Entirely separately from
10 my meeting with him, Dr Kelly expressed very similar
11 concerns about Downing Street interpretation of
12 intelligence in the dossier and the unreliability of the
13 45 minutes point to Newsnight. These reports have never
14 been questioned by Downing Street. Although Dr Kelly
15 had close connections with the intelligence community
16 none of these reports ever described him as a member of
17 the Intelligence Services, but as a senior official
18 closely involved in the preparation of the dossier."
19 That statement that none of the reports had ever
20 described him as a member of the Intelligence Services
21 was wrong, was it not?
22 A. Yes, it was. One out of 19 had described him as such,
23 but it was a live broadcast and once the words are out
24 of your mouth, the -- you know, I did not go back and
25 look at transcripts.
1 Q. The truth of the matter is this, Mr Gilligan, is it not:
2 you had made this statement in your 5 Live broadcast and
3 you had allowed your superiors in the BBC to repeat it
4 on a number of occasions; you kept up the pretence that
5 your source had been a member of the Intelligence
6 Services because you were quite happy with it, until the
7 BBC decided, after Dr Kelly's death, that they would
8 have to disclose that he had been your source; at that
9 point you changed tack and said you had never said
10 otherwise, because you now realised you were going to be
11 found out.
12 A. No, that is not the case. As I say, in all but one of
13 the broadcasts, and I did many, many broadcasts on this
14 subject, I was scrupulous to describe -- not to describe
15 him as a member of the Intelligence Services. The
16 descriptions by others of him as a member of the
17 Intelligence Services came before they knew what his
18 status was, so they were not a matter for me. They were
19 not as a result of my telling them anything false about
20 his assignation.
21 Q. Your evidence was, I think, that you had told
22 Mr Sambrook on the afternoon of his broadcast on the
23 Today Programme on the 26th that he had not in fact been
24 a member of the Intelligence Services?
25 A. Yes, or the day after. It was either that day or the
1 day after.
2 Q. We will ask Mr Sambrook about that.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can I turn to a slightly different subject and ask you
5 whether you would agree that the normal practice, at any
6 rate in the case of the BBC, when you are about to
7 broadcast damaging allegations against Government is to
8 notify the department concerned in advance so that they
9 can, if appropriate, respond?
10 A. The practice is discussed on each occasion with the
11 programme team, it is a collective decision for the
12 team; and on this occasion the outcome of the discussion
13 was that we would put the allegations to the Defence
14 Minister, Adam Ingram, who was due on the programme to
15 talk about another subject, we would broaden the bid, in
16 the jargon, and that he would be able to respond for the
17 Government on that issue.
18 Q. I simply would like to ascertain first of all what is
19 the normal practice. Is it the normal practice, when
20 you are about to make serious allegations against the
21 Government, to notify the Government concerned in
23 A. Yes, and that is in fact what we did do.
24 Q. It is not just a question of fairness to the department
25 and allowing them to respond, is it? You might get
1 a response from the Government which would cause
2 a reputable journalist to think again before
3 broadcasting the allegations, at any rate in the form
4 originally envisaged; do you agree?
5 A. I think that the denial we received from the Ministry of
6 Defence and from Downing Street would not on this
7 occasion have caused us to change what we broadcast.
8 Q. You would not have modified your 6.07 broadcast in any
9 way if you had known that the Chairman of the Joint
10 Intelligence Committee had supported the Government's
11 denial and accepted that he was happy with the dossier
12 as it was finally produced? That would have made no
13 difference to you; is that right?
14 A. The Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee did not
15 feature in the Government's first denials.
16 Q. It featured very soon afterwards, did it not?
17 A. It featured, I think, about four days afterwards, on
18 3rd June.
19 Q. No, it featured on the same day as the broadcast.
20 A. Well, not to my knowledge; but, I mean, it certainly did
21 not feature in the Government denials which were issued
23 Q. The department concerned in this story was not the
24 Ministry of Defence, it was No. 10, was it not? They
25 were the people who were alleged to have sexed up the
2 A. Yes.
3 LORD HUTTON: Mr Sumption are you suggesting to Mr Gilligan
4 that it was made public that the Chairman of the JIC
5 associated himself with the denial at an early stage?
6 MR SUMPTION: I will check my facts on that. I was
7 suggesting that. Mr Gilligan has denied it and I need
8 to look back at it.
9 A. My understanding on that point was that the Chairman of
10 the JIC issued a statement, or a statement was reported
11 in some of the newspapers on I believe the 3rd or
12 4th June.
13 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
14 MR SUMPTION: I was not referring to a statement by the
15 Chairman of the JIC but a statement by No. 10 that the
16 JIC had endorsed the denial. I will look into that. It
17 is a matter of record.
18 A. Hmm.
19 Q. Mr Gilligan, you accept that the department concerned
20 was No. 10. You accept, as I understand it, that you
21 never gave advance notice to No. 10?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could you look, please, at BBC/5/153.
24 This is a letter from Richard Sambrook to
25 Ben Bradshaw shortly after the interview which was
1 referred to in your evidence-in-chief a few minutes ago.
2 One of the things that Mr Sambrook says when he recites
3 the facts about this advance notice to the Ministry of
4 Defence is:
5 "At 6.30 pm Andrew Gilligan spoke to Kate O'Connor
6 [that is the same as Kate Wilson], the MoD press
7 officer, about the cluster bomb interview and added
8 there would be another story running on WMD."
9 Was that an accurate statement?
10 A. Certainly the cluster bomb issue came up, because that
11 was the reason that Adam Ingram had been booked to talk
12 on the programme the next day. So I began by saying:
13 Adam Ingram, you know, is booked to talk on the cluster
14 bomb subject but I want to put another subject to him as
15 well, and I described the story, as the letter says.
16 Q. This statement was based on what you told Mr Sambrook,
17 was it not?
18 A. I am not sure it was, in fact, because the time is wrong
19 here, 6.30. It should have been 7.30. I am not quite
20 sure where this comes from.
21 Q. Mr Gilligan, there was no written record of this
22 conversation, so the only place where Mr Sambrook could
23 possibly have got it from was you.
24 A. I think I had spoken to the Controller of Editorial
25 Policy, Stephen Whittle, about this. I think Mr Whittle
1 had conveyed some of it to Mr Sambrook. Sometimes some
2 of these things get a bit lost in the telling.
3 Q. What is being said here and what I suggest what you had
4 told your superiors within the BBC is that you spoke to
5 Ms Wilson about the cluster bomb interview and added
6 that there would be another story on WMD.
7 A. Well, I certainly began by speaking about the cluster
8 bomb interview because that was the starting point for
9 Mr Ingram's appearance on the Today Programme the
10 following morning. I really had very little to say
11 about the subject of cluster bombs because I did not
12 know what the story was, it was another reporter's
13 story. As I said earlier, I simply would not discuss
14 another reporter's story with the Ministry of Defence,
15 even if I had been able to. It is a breach of protocol.
16 LORD HUTTON: Mr Gilligan, can I ask you: what was your
17 purpose, then, for ringing Ms Wilson?
18 A. It was to give her an outline of the WMD story so that
19 Adam Ingram could be briefed to answer questions on it.
20 LORD HUTTON: Why did you refer to the cluster bombs story?
21 Was it just, as it were, as an introduction?
22 A. Yes.
23 LORD HUTTON: Because you knew Adam Ingram was coming on for
24 that purpose.
25 A. Yes. And I said: you know Adam Ingram is booked to talk
1 about cluster bombs, we want to broaden the bid to talk
2 about the dossier; and I gave her an outline of the
4 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
5 MR SUMPTION: You also said to your superiors within the
6 BBC, did you not, that what you had said about WMD was
7 that it was not a matter for the MoD but for another
8 Government department. Do you remember that?
9 A. What I said to the MoD was that I was not seeking
10 a point by point response from the press office, I did
11 not want them to go away and come back with a point by
12 point response to the allegations that were made.
13 I wanted them to notify Mr Ingram so he would be
14 prepared to answer on the subject the following morning;
15 and that was how both I and the programme team, which
16 included the day editor, Miranda Holt, and the overall
17 editor of the programme, Kevin Marsh, had decided how
18 this story would be handled. Similar calls were made by
19 two others on the Today Programme team on that evening,
20 by Martha Findlay and by Chris Howard.
21 Q. Let me remind you of my question: I did not ask you what
22 you had told the MoD, I asked you what you had told your
23 superiors within the BBC, which was rather different.
24 A. Well, my answer is the same because that -- you know,
25 that is -- as I have just said, that is what we had
1 agreed, what my superiors, in other words Miranda Holt
2 and Kevin Marsh, had agreed with me.
3 Q. Did you say to Mr Sambrook that you had said something
4 to the MoD to indicate that the WMD story was not an MoD
5 story? Do you follow me?
6 A. Well, as I said, I told the press officer, I told
7 Kate Wilson that it was not -- I did not seek a point by
8 point response from the MoD press office but I did hope
9 that Adam Ingram would be able to answer questions on
11 Q. Just focus on my question, please, Mr Gilligan. Did you
12 say to Mr Sambrook: I told the MoD that I was working on
13 a WMD story, but it was not a matter for the MoD? Did
14 you say that to him or words to that effect?
15 A. I cannot remember what I said to him, but what I -- if
16 I indeed said that, and I am not sure I did, but what
17 I meant from that was that I had told them that it was
18 not a matter on which I was expecting a point by point
19 response from the MoD but one which I expected them to
20 brief Adam Ingram on for his appearance on the programme
21 the next morning.
22 Q. Could we have, please, BBC/6/105? Just to explain what
23 this is, this is part of the minute of the Governors'
24 meeting of the BBC on 6th July. It is a meeting most of
25 which was attended by Mr Sambrook, among other senior
1 executives of the BBC; and there is a heading, halfway
2 down the page:
3 "Contacts with the Government."
4 Stephen Whittle was also present:
5 "Stephen Whittle said achieving clarity on the
6 contacts between the Today team and Government
7 departments on this occasion was difficult because
8 a full note had not been kept ... In addition to the
9 information already provided by Richard Sambrook about
10 requests for an interview with Adam Ingram, he reported
11 that Andrew Gilligan spoke to an MoD press officer
12 (mobile to mobile) at around 6.30 pm to inform them that
13 the interview would be extended to include WMD. The
14 MoD's account of this contact was different, claiming
15 that Andrew Gilligan mentioned only the cluster bomb
16 story and only upon being asked said there was another
17 issue but this was not a matter for the MoD.
18 Andrew Gilligan agrees he said something to indicate
19 that the WMD issue was not principally an MoD story, but
20 claims that he only spoke about WMD during the
21 conversation and not cluster bombs."
22 You did agree when you were asked by -- I suggest it
23 was probably Mr Sambrook but it might have been
24 Mr Whittle, you did agree, did you not, that you had
25 said something to the MoD to indicate to them that the
1 WMD story was not a matter for them?
2 A. What that sentence conveys -- what I intended to convey
3 when I spoke to Stephen Whittle about this was that
4 I had said that I did not seek a point by point response
5 from the MoD press office; it was not therefore a matter
6 for the MoD press office. But I did outline the story
7 in order to give Adam Ingram a chance to be briefed and
8 to be able to respond to it on the programme. That was
9 the approach that all three of us, that I, the editor
10 and the day editor on the programme team, had discussed
11 and had decided on when deciding how to get the
12 Government response on this story.
13 Q. So Mr Whittle has got this wrong when he was talking to
14 the Governors, has he?
15 A. I mean, I think when he says "this was not a matter for
16 the MoD", I think he is probably referring to my saying
17 that it was not something on which I sought a point by
18 point response from the MoD press office.
19 Q. It was not a matter for the MoD, was it, which is why
20 you would not in fact have discussed it in any detail
21 with Ms Wilson, who was an MoD press officer?
22 A. As defence correspondent, my principal contact is with
23 the MoD. Had anyone on the programme decided to contact
24 Downing Street, it would have been done, you know,
25 I would have been told to do it or somebody else would
1 have been told to do it. It was not something that any
2 of us on the programme decided to do in order to get the
3 Government response on the story.
4 LORD HUTTON: Mr Gilligan, if you ring up the MoD about the
5 Minister coming on to the Today Programme and you say
6 that you wish the Minister to speak about a particular
7 subject, would you also, at that time, ask the MoD press
8 officer for a response? I mean, it would seem to me,
9 just on the first impression, that on that occasion you
10 would not be looking for a response from the MoD press
12 A. Well, I think that is right. I mean, in hindsight
13 I think we should have asked the MoD for a response
14 and -- but as I say, the approach discussed and decided
15 on by the programme team, which is me, the editor and
16 the day editor, was not that, it was a different one.
17 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
18 A. And I was following that approach, as were the other
19 people who made calls to the MoD. I mean, the grammar
20 of the Today Programme, as indeed of Newsnight and other
21 such programmes, is that a story is broadcast and then,
22 immediately afterwards, or shortly afterwards, the
23 relevant Minister appears to give the Government
25 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
1 MR SUMPTION: On the last occasion that you gave evidence to
2 this Inquiry, Mr Gilligan, when you were asked what you
3 had said to Ms Wilson, you replied -- the question was:
4 "Question: In the early morning broadcast you have
5 referred to the Government knowing that the 45 minute
6 claim was wrong before it was put in. Did you put that
7 allegation to the Ministry of Defence press officer?"
8 Your answer was:
9 "I do not believe I did put those specific words,
10 no. As I say, I cannot remember exactly what I said.
11 I gave them an outline of the story, a summary of the
12 story but I cannot remember exactly what I said to
14 When you gave evidence in answer to questions from
15 Ms Rogers this morning you produced a complete string of
16 precise statements about what you had said. What has
17 happened since the last occasion to wake up your memory
18 on this point?
19 A. I think that was in respect of what I broadcast rather
20 than what I said to Kate Wilson. As I have said before,
21 I gave Kate Wilson a general outline of the story,
22 including the claims that the dossier had been
23 exaggerated and this was done at Downing Street's behest
24 and that the Intelligence Services were unhappy about
25 the inclusion of the 45 minutes claim in the form it
1 took. Those to me were the main elements of the story.
2 I confirm as I said before that I did not -- I do not
3 believe I did put the specific phrase "the Government
4 probably knew it was wrong" to Kate Wilson.
5 Q. I suggest that you did not in fact say anything about
6 the story at all other than that there would be a story
7 about the WMD issue, which was not a matter for them.
8 A. No, that is not --
9 Q. What do you say?
10 A. That is not the case. I spoke to Kate Wilson for 7 and
11 a half minutes. I really would not have spent all that
12 time speaking about another reporter's story of which
13 I knew nothing.
14 Q. When on 28th June you rang up the MoD press officer to
15 remind them, as you put it, that you had said something
16 about this to Kate Wilson, you were doing that because
17 you realised that there was unlikely to be any record of
18 this conversation at the MoD because you had said no
19 such thing and you were trying to generate a record
20 within their system a month after the event, were you
22 A. No, that was not my intention. I wanted to remind them
23 of the call I had made; and, you know, there are --
24 there is in fact a record of that call. There is
25 a mobile phone bill showing that it took place for 7 and
1 a half minutes to Kate Wilson's number.
2 Q. There is one other matter I want to ask you about --
3 LORD HUTTON: I think we should give the stenographers
4 a break.
5 MR SUMPTION: I do apologise, my Lord.
6 LORD HUTTON: I will rise for five minutes.
7 (11.52 am)
8 (Short Break)
9 (11.57 am)
10 MR SUMPTION: Yes, my Lord. The facts about disclosure of
11 the endorsements by the Chairman of the JIC are that the
12 authority was actually obtained on 29th itself but the
13 first occasion when it was announced that the JIC
14 Chairman endorsed the denial was on the following day,
15 in a press statements made in Poland which were reported
16 in certain of the media straightaway.
17 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
18 MR SUMPTION: When I say the following day, it was on
19 1st June. The reference for that, though I am not
20 asking for it to be put up on the screen, is CAB/1/158.
21 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much, Mr Sumption.
22 MR SUMPTION: The other matter I want to ask you about,
23 Mr Gilligan, concerns a document which is at BBC/3/25.
24 This is a press release issued by the BBC on 9th July.
25 Just to explain the background, I am not asking you to
1 comment on it but just to give you some context, this is
2 a press release from the BBC about the Ministry of
3 Defence's announcement that an unnamed official had come
4 forward as a possible source for your story.
5 It deals with the question whether the unnamed
6 official described in the MoD's press statement of the
7 previous evening was the same as your source. And it
8 its relevance is that it is the main reason why the
9 Prime Minister's spokesman had to deal later on the day,
10 the 9th July, with questions from the Lobby about what
11 sort of person this official was.
12 The press release notes the Ministry of Defence
13 statement in the first paragraph and it says, in the
14 second paragraph:
15 "The description of the individual contained in the
16 statement does not match Mr Gilligan's source in some
17 important ways. Mr Gilligan's source does not work in
18 the Ministry of Defence and he has known the source for
19 a number of years not months."
20 It was not true, was it, that your source did not
21 work in the Ministry of Defence?
22 A. Yes, it was true. I mean, we have heard in evidence
23 that he did not have a desk at the MoD, that his main
24 place of work was his home, and he had already described
25 to me how he drifted between various Government
1 departments. His salary, I believe, was paid by the
2 Foreign Office.
3 Q. Mr Gilligan, were you consulted about this press
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Who by?
7 A. By the people who drew it up, which was --
8 Q. Who were they?
9 A. I think it was Sally Osman, who is the head of
10 communications, by Greg Dyke, who was involved in
11 drawing it up, and I think possibly Mark Damazer. I
12 cannot recall. It was a conference call.
13 Q. Of those three people, you were the only one who
14 actually knew who your source was, I think?
15 A. I was not quite sure what Richard Sambrook had told
16 Greg, but I believe -- you know, Richard was -- I do not
17 believe Richard was part of that conference call. I am
18 not absolutely sure of that.
19 Q. The other two who knew who he was were Kevin Marsh and
20 Richard Sambrook?
21 A. Kevin Marsh knew the source's affiliations and his
22 background, and Richard knew his name.
23 Q. Were you entirely happy with the BBC putting out a press
24 release saying that your source, who we now know to be
25 Dr Kelly, does not work in the Ministry of Defence? Did
1 that strike you as an honest statement to make?
2 A. Well, as I have said, he did not work in the Ministry of
4 Q. Oh come off it, Mr Gilligan, you knew perfectly well and
5 you told us at the beginning of your evidence that he
6 was a senior chemical and biological warfare adviser to
7 the Ministry of Defence. What are you doing here
8 allowing the press release to go out saying he does not
9 work for the Ministry of Defence in it?
10 A. No, I did not say he did not work for the Ministry of
11 Defence, I said he did not work in the Ministry of
13 Q. Do you agree that this press statement was quite plainly
14 designed to give the impression that it could not be
15 Dr Kelly, because Dr Kelly worked in the Ministry of
16 Defence whereas your source did not? That is what you
17 were trying to convey.
18 A. Dr Kelly did not work in the Ministry of Defence, he
19 worked from home, he worked from UN headquarters, he
20 worked in Iraq, he worked in the Foreign Office, he
21 worked in a number of places. The Government spokesman
22 himself, I believe, corrected his characterisations of
23 Dr Kelly as a result of this statement. The affiliation
24 of Dr Kelly is a matter of public record.
25 Q. The relevance of making this point was to suggest that
1 the person who had come forward as described in the
2 Ministry of Defence press statement was not necessarily
3 the same as your source. That was the purpose of making
4 this statement, was it not?
5 A. Yes. Not necessarily.
6 Q. Right.
7 A. I mean, there is a passage further down here where it
9 "We note that the MoD statement says that, 'we do
10 not know whether this official is Mr Gilligan's source'.
11 Neither do we."
12 We simply do not have enough information to judge at
13 this point.
14 Q. But you knew who he was, of course, and you were
15 consulted about this press statement.
16 A. Well, I was not clear that the person -- I mean, as
17 I say in my witness statement, I suspected that it was
18 Dr Kelly who they had spoken to but I was not certain
19 that it was; and I was under absolutely no obligation to
20 help the Ministry of Defence identify my source. In
21 fact, I was under an obligation to protect him.
22 Q. You were not under an obligation to protect him by
23 approving a press statement on behalf of the BBC which
24 contained a plainly misleading statement, namely that
25 your source did not work in the Ministry of Defence.
1 A. I mean, I am afraid that statement is correct. He did
2 not work in the Ministry of Defence. As you have heard
3 from many witnesses, he visited it from time to time but
4 he did not have a desk there and, you know, he was
5 attached from the DSTL at Porton Down. They were his
6 formal employers. You know, Dr Kelly had made it plain
7 that he worked from many places, principally his home.
8 Q. The point of this press release was not to explain where
9 Dr Kelly or where the source was physically working
10 from, it was to explain who his employer was, who he
11 worked for in a broad sense. It was to contradict the
12 Ministry of Defence's statement that somebody who might
13 be your source had come forward who was an official at
14 the Ministry of Defence.
15 A. No, I mean, we did not use the words who he worked for.
16 As I say, if the press statement had been seeking to
17 explain whose his employer was then why did it say "in"
18 rather than "for"?
19 Q. You thought that was a distinction that would be
20 immediately grasped by anybody reading this press
21 release, did you?
22 A. Our concern in issuing this press statement was to
23 protect the identity of Dr Kelly as our source. That is
24 an fundamental obligation. We did not know under what
25 circumstances Dr Kelly had come forward. We did not
1 know whether he was under any kind of threat of
2 disciplinary action. We did not know whether he had
3 been discovered or whether he had -- truly had
4 volunteered his contact with me. We did not know
5 a great deal about this. We had an absolute obligation
6 to protect him, and we did so in the form of this press
8 Q. You did not need to say anything about him at all which
9 was not strictly true. You had the choice, did you not,
10 of simply keeping quiet?
11 A. Yes, I think we did; and perhaps we should have, but had
12 we kept quiet I think the feeling might have been that
13 we were, you know, acquiescing in the statement that the
14 MoD had put out. We had a difficult call to make and
15 not very much time to make it in. The statement was put
16 out at 6 o'clock in the evening and almost at once --
17 obviously really not very far off newspaper deadlines,
18 and almost at once we were bombarded with calls asking
19 us about it.
20 Q. You see, it was because that statement was issued that
21 the Prime Minister's official spokesman in the afternoon
22 Lobby briefing was obliged to field questions about the
23 contradiction between the BBC's statement and the MoD's
24 statement in the way that he did.
25 A. No, I do not believe that to be the case. Even as the
1 Ministry of Defence statement was being issued, at least
2 one newspaper, The Times, was being given very full
3 details which would enable them to identify Dr Kelly.
4 The Times on the morning -- the statement was issued at
5 6 o'clock on the evening of the 8th. The Times on the
6 morning of the 9th, in other words the reporting for
7 which would have been done on the 8th, contained
8 a description of the unnamed official as a Government
9 adviser who is understood to work for the Proliferation
10 and Arms Control Secretariat at the MoD and a former UN
11 weapons inspector.
12 Q. That description was right, was it not?
13 A. It certainly was. That description had been given
14 before our statement had even been issued. So the
15 Government was already providing clues long before our
16 statement was issued.
17 Q. You have no basis for saying the Government provided
18 those. And your organisation, later in the afternoon,
19 contradicted it by saying: no, he was not at the
20 Ministry of Defence.
21 A. As I say, the argument that was made that that statement
22 obliged the Government to provide clues to Dr Kelly's
23 identity is incorrect, because they already were
24 providing clues of his identity to The Times before the
25 statement was even issued.
1 Q. You have no knowledge of that.
2 A. Well, I mean, it is simply how newspapers work.
3 A newspaper deadline is roughly 6/7 o'clock in the
4 evening; and The Times had this information for its
5 relevant day's edition so it must have been provided on
6 the afternoon or the early evening of the 8th. So there
7 was no -- you know, so that provision of clues started
8 before the Government spokesman on the 9th had started
9 on the afternoon or evening of the 8th.
10 MR SUMPTION: Thank you, Mr Gilligan.
11 LORD HUTTON: Now Mr Gompertz.
12 Cross-examination by MR GOMPERTZ
13 Q. Mr Gilligan, I hope I can be very brief for three
14 reasons. First of all, you have made, today, a number
15 of concessions; secondly, almost all ground has just
16 been covered by my learned friend Mr Sumption; and,
17 thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the Kelly family
18 do not want you or anybody else to be subjected at their
19 hands to an ordeal comparable to that endured by
20 Dr Kelly; do you follow?
21 A. Yes. Thank you.
22 Q. Just a couple of matters. First of all, I believe the
23 first thing you did after meeting Dr Kelly on 22nd May
24 was to make a manuscript note of the conversation --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- while it was still fresh in your mind.
2 A. (Nods).
3 Q. You have now lost that note?
4 A. Yes, I have.
5 Q. Before you lost it, did you use it as a basis for your
6 broadcasts on 29th May?
7 A. Yes, in that I used it as a basis for the note to
8 Miranda Holt, which has already been given in evidence;
9 and that was the basis for the broadcasts.
10 Q. So that note to Miranda Holt came first, followed by the
11 broadcast on 29th May, and then The Mail on Sunday
12 article on 1st June?
13 A. Yes, that is the order, yes.
14 Q. And where did you keep that note?
15 A. I had it in my bag; and I am really not sure where it
16 has -- where it went in between then and my looking for
17 it in advance of the Inquiry.
18 Q. By "in my bag" do you mean a briefcase in which you
19 carry documents around or what?
20 A. It is a laptop bag, in fact, which I use to carry my
21 audio equipment, my mini disk and my microphone and so
22 on; and where the computer goes there are pockets in
23 which I keep documents.
24 Q. So when did you last see this note?
25 A. I am not quite sure, to be honest, but some time in June
1 would be my best guess.
2 Q. Did anybody else ever see it?
3 A. I do not believe so, no. They saw the Miranda Holt note
4 on there -- of which the manuscript note was the base.
5 Q. So you never showed it to anybody?
6 A. I do not believe I did. Again, it is difficult to
7 recall at this length of time.
8 Q. Could you look, please, at the document you were shown
9 just a few minutes ago, BBC/3/25, the press statement on
10 9th July? If we can go down the page there is
11 a paragraph which begins in the middle there:
12 "For the single conversation which led to the Today
13 story Mr Gilligan took comprehensive notes during the
14 meeting with his source which do not correspond with the
15 account given in the MoD statement."
16 Just pausing there, which notes are being referred
18 A. These were the notes taken during the meeting, in other
19 words the organiser notes.
20 Q. The organiser notes?
21 A. Yes. They have been provided to the Inquiry.
22 Q. The next sentence reads:
23 "These notes have already been deposited with the
24 BBC legal department."
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Was there ever a third set of notes compiled by
3 A. Other than the Miranda Holt, the manuscript and the
5 Q. If you take the Miranda Holt note into account then it
6 would be a fourth set. Was there ever such a document?
7 A. I do not believe so, no. I mean, I may have -- I may
8 have, at some point, made a representation or something
9 of what was in the broadcast or something like that.
10 But there were no other things which were actual notes,
12 Q. When you discovered that you had lost the manuscript
13 note made just after your meeting, did you ever attempt
14 to reconstruct it?
15 A. No, I mean -- reconstruct the manuscript note?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. No. In manuscript form, no.
18 Q. So the position is this: that the manuscript note has
19 not been seen by anybody else, and we have only your
20 word for what it contained?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Of course, you tell us that the note for
23 Miranda Holt was based upon it.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you look, please, at BBC/7/61? This note, which
1 seems to have been sent to Miranda Holt on 28th May --
2 is that correct?
3 A. Yes, that is right.
4 Q. That is how it is endorsed at the top.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. It is headed "What my man said".
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. There are then set out a number of questions and
9 answers, I think four questions initially and
10 four answers, going to about two-thirds of the way down
11 the page; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Is that right?
14 A. Yes. Yes, it is. Yes.
15 Q. And they are in inverted commas, are they not?
16 A. There is an inverted comma -- yes, they are, yes.
17 Q. Quotation marks?
18 A. Yes, they are.
19 Q. Does that not imply that the questions were as asked by
20 you and that the answers were as given by Dr Kelly?
21 A. Well, as I said in my earlier evidence, this does not
22 purport to be a verbatim transcript but it is a summary
23 of what Dr Kelly said. All the quotes there were said
24 by him.
25 Q. It is because of your previous evidence that I ask you
1 this. There is a difference, is there not, between
2 a summary and a verbatim transcript?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. If you set out questions and answers as you have on this
5 page, in inverted commas, that purports to be a verbatim
6 transcript, does it not?
7 A. No. I mean, as I said in my evidence, I explicitly said
8 this does not purport to be a verbatim transcript.
9 There are areas which were not covered -- you know,
10 I mean, there would be gaps. The phrases -- all the
11 words used by Dr Kelly -- were spoken by Dr Kelly in
13 Q. Were they?
14 A. But it is not verbatim.
15 Q. Let us just look at two examples. In the first answer
16 you record that he said, second sentence:
17 "It was transformed in the week before it was
18 published, to make it sexier."
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I think you have conceded, have you not, that those last
21 four words "to make it sexier", were introduced into the
22 conversation by you and not by him?
23 A. That is correct, but they were adopted by him and they
24 were spoken, he repeated the words, by him.
25 Q. That is not what this document shows, is it?
1 A. No, but as I say, it does not purport to be a verbatim
2 transcript of the conversation. It does not include
3 that question.
4 Q. The other passage to which I will direct your attention,
5 if I may, comes in the next answer -- we will not go all
6 the way through it, but do you see that the penultimate
7 sentence is:
8 "What we thought it actually meant was that they
9 could launch a conventional missile in 45 minutes."
10 That statement does not appear, does it, in your
11 text file?
12 A. No, it does not. I mean, that was part of the
13 manuscript note which I remembered him saying after the
15 Q. So that sentence was taken from the manuscript note,
16 which obviously we cannot check.
17 A. Yes. That is right.
18 Q. You say, do you, that anybody looking at this document
19 would know that this was not purporting to be a verbatim
20 account of what was said, but simply a summary of the
21 main quotes?
22 A. Yes. I cannot remember exactly what I said to Miranda
23 when I sent her the note, but I think I said something
24 along those lines: I will send a summary of the main
1 LORD HUTTON: When you say this is what Dr Kelly said, do
2 you mean by that it was the gist of what Dr Kelly said?
3 A. No, these were these words. The great majority of these
4 are from the organiser note, and a few, like the last
5 sentence you picked up, were from memory, reconstructing
6 the conversation immediately after it took place for the
7 purposes of the manuscript note.
8 LORD HUTTON: But when you say they were his words, you have
9 said it is not a verbatim transcript. If they were his
10 words, do you mean that the answers are a verbatim
11 account of what he said?
12 A. The answers are -- I say it is not verbatim because for
13 a start, as Mr Gompertz has pointed out, one of the
14 questions is missing, my question "To make it sexier"
15 and he says "Yes, to make it sexier".
16 Equally, one of the phrases here is in a different
17 order from when he said it. He said -- let us see --
18 that the -- that the organiser notes have it in
19 a slightly different order. That is why I say it is not
20 verbatim, it is a summary of the main quotes. But it --
21 I mean, these -- all the words attributed to Dr Kelly in
22 this note were spoken by Dr Kelly.
23 LORD HUTTON: Although perhaps in a slightly different
25 A. In one case in a different order, I think, but not in
1 a way that changed the meaning.
2 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
3 MR GOMPERTZ: There is another example, is there not, in
4 this document where the word was spoken first by you and
5 not by him, and I am referring there to the name
7 A. Yes, that word was in fact spoken first by Dr Kelly.
8 Q. I suggest to you, on the documents that we have seen in
9 this Inquiry, that it was the other way round, that it
10 was in fact yourself who introduced that name.
11 A. No, that is not the case. It was him.
12 Q. Have you read or heard the evidence of Mrs Olivia Bosch?
13 A. Yes, I have.
14 Q. You will recollect that it was her evidence that
15 Dr Kelly told her that you introduced names to him to
16 attempt to elicit who was responsible for embellishing
17 the dossier; that is a summary of what she said.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is there anything in that account which you recognise?
20 A. No. There was no name game as she described it. Only
21 one name was mentioned. I did not introduce a number of
22 names or indeed any name. Alastair Campbell's name was
23 mentioned, it was brought up spontaneously by Dr Kelly,
24 just as he brought it up spontaneously to Susan Watts on
25 7th May.
1 Q. In your text file, BBC/7/57, if you want to refresh your
2 memory, you agreed a short time ago with Mr Sumption
3 that there is no record of the conversation that you had
4 with Dr Kelly about how he wished to be described.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you said that was because by that stage you had put
7 your organiser away.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I suppose the same applies, does it, to the conversation
10 which you claim you had with him as to which parts of
11 the interview with him you could use and which parts he
12 did not want you to use?
13 A. Well, at the end of the conversation, as I have said in
14 my earlier evidence, we did go over -- I read back to
15 him some of the quotes, and we did go over some of the
16 quotes, and he corrected one or two things, and he did
17 ask me not to use one or two things. One or two things
18 I took out and others I left in; but knowing not to use
20 Q. That does not appear, does it, in the text file?
21 A. No, it does not.
22 Q. Nor, indeed, in any other document that we have.
23 A. That is right, yes.
24 Q. You were going to Iraq earlier this year to cover the
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Had you been to Iraq before?
3 A. Yes, I had. Yes.
4 Q. Once or more than once?
5 A. Twice.
6 Q. Many times?
7 A. Twice.
8 Q. Dr Kelly had very considerable experience of the
9 country, had he not?
10 A. Yes, he did.
11 Q. When was it that you went to Iraq? This year?
12 A. This year was -- roughly 9th March, I think.
13 Q. Did you not want to meet Dr Kelly before you went, to
14 talk over matters which would be useful to you in your
15 time in Iraq?
16 A. I did consider it, but I was too busy. There was
17 a great deal happening in the run up to the war. There
18 was an awful lot of news to report. The UN
19 deliberations, the deployments of troops; I had to do
20 some safety training and so on in preparation for going.
21 So there was a great deal else on in
22 that February/early March period. I just did not have
24 Q. I have no doubt. Did you not meet him in fact some time
25 in February to discuss Iraq in general?
1 A. No, I do not believe I did. I have no records of it and
2 I have no recollection of it.
3 Q. He had a considerable interest in Iraq and indeed in the
4 Iraqi people, did he not?
5 A. Yes, he did.
6 Q. Was the reason why the meeting was arranged on 22nd May
7 that he wanted to hear about your experiences in Iraq;
8 is that right? Is that fair?
9 A. I think that was one of the reasons certainly. But, as
10 I said in my earlier evidence, I really do not think
11 that what I could tell him would have been an enormous
12 amount of use. I am not a trained scientist. The
13 Iraqis had obviously not let us near anywhere that might
14 have been deemed sensitive or a WMD site, and most of
15 what I could tell him was essentially anecdotal.
16 I thought and think that he was being polite, as much as
17 anything else, in saying that he wanted to hear from me
18 about my experiences because they were not worth much
20 Q. You went to that meeting on 22nd May unequipped with
21 a tape recorder or any recording device?
22 A. Yes. I had my broadcast mini disk recorder, but I do
23 not believe -- I mean, I did not -- I did not use it
24 because it has a very big microphone, which is
1 Q. So you did have means of recording the conversation that
2 you had with him but you did not choose to employ it; is
3 that right?
4 A. The broadcast mini disk recorder that I use comes with
5 a very large microphone of the sort you see, you know,
6 sports commentators waving. If you bring that out it
7 tends to inhibit frank discussion.
8 MR GOMPERTZ: That is all that I want to ask you,
9 Mr Gilligan, thank you.
10 LORD HUTTON: Thank you, Mr Gompertz.
11 Cross-examined by MR DINGEMANS
12 Q. I will not repeat my earlier questioning nor indeed the
13 earlier cross-examination. Can I just take you to some
14 passages of the 29th May broadcast at the start and ask
15 whether you contend these were accurate representations
16 of what Dr Kelly had told you? BBC/1/4, if I may. The
17 first part I want to draw your attention to is in the
18 first paragraph:
19 "... what we've been told by one of the senior
20 officials in charge of drawing up that dossier was that,
21 actually the Government probably erm knew that that
22 45 minutes figure was wrong, even before it decided to
23 put it in."
24 Do you now accept that was not based on what
25 Dr Kelly had told you?
1 A. I accept that it was not the -- I accept that it was not
2 the right form of words to use because it gave listeners
3 the impression that he had said that in terms. He did
4 not say it in terms.
5 Q. And he did not suggest that to you?
6 A. Well, he said that the statement that WMD were ready for
7 use in 45 minutes was unreliable, it was wrong, it was
8 misinterpreted and he said that it had been included
9 "against our wishes". I concluded from that that the
10 wishes had been made known, but it was wrong to ascribe
11 that statement that they had been made known to
12 Dr Kelly.
13 Q. The bottom of the page:
14 "... and the reason it hadn't been in the original
15 draft was that it was, it was only erm, it came from one
16 source and most of the other claims were from two, and
17 the intelligence agencies say they don't really believe
18 it was necessarily true..."
19 That was not the reason it had not been in the
20 original draft, do you now accept that?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. And Dr Kelly gave you nothing to suggest that was the
24 A. That is correct, and I did not ascribe it in fact to him
1 Q. The next page. Just before "End of first recording":
2 "Clearly, you know, if erm, if it, if it was, if it
3 was wrong, things do, things are, got wrong in good
4 faith but if they knew if was wrong before they actually
5 made the claim, that's perhaps a bit more serious."
6 Suggesting that Dr Kelly had suggested to you that
7 the claim was false.
8 A. I think the operative word here is "if". This does
9 suggest that I am not suggesting it is true. But, you
10 know, as I have said to you before, the statement
11 that -- the statement "probably knew it was wrong"
12 was -- was not something that Dr Kelly had said in
14 Q. If you knew that this was not right you would have said
15 so. It was not your suggestion that they knew that it
16 was wrong, was it?
17 A. No, my error in this was in ascribing that -- you know,
18 expressing my understanding as something which Dr Kelly
19 had actually said in terms, which he had not.
20 Q. And neither had he suggested it?
21 A. Well, he said things which had led me to conclude it,
22 but he had not suggested it directly, no.
23 Q. Scrolling down the page, Mr Humphrys picking up on what
24 you are saying, fourth line down:
25 "Now our defence correspondent, Andrew Gilligan, has
1 found evidence that the Government's dossier on Iraq
2 that was produced last September, was cobbled together
3 at the last minute with some unconfirmed material that
4 had not been approved by the Security Services."
5 Dr Kelly did not say that to you, did he?
6 A. No. These were not my words, these were John Humphrys'
7 words. I would not have said those words and did not
8 write them for him.
9 Q. That was Mr Humphrys' understanding of your earlier
10 broadcast no doubt.
11 A. I do not believe it was --
12 Q. He is hardly likely to have made it up.
13 A. The cues -- the things that the presenter says, the cues
14 are actually written by the presenters before the
15 programme even starts, so he would not have heard the
16 earlier broadcast at the time that he devised this
17 particular cue.
18 Q. BBC/1/6 towards the bottom of the paragraph:
19 "Now that claim has come back to haunt Mr Blair
20 because if the weapons had been that readily to hand,
21 they probably would have been found by now. but you
22 know, it could have been an honest mistake, but what
23 I have been told is that the Government knew that claim
24 was questionable, even before the war, even before they
25 wrote it in their dossier."
1 Dr Kelly never told you that, did he?
2 A. No. Again, my error there was expressing that
3 understanding, and I defend the use of "knew it was
4 questionable" but expressing it as something which
5 Dr Kelly had told me in terms, which he had not -- but
6 it was not the main thrust. It was not the main import
7 of the broadcast. The broadcast was summarised probably
8 most -- in its essentials by the news bulletin piece
9 which I wrote, and that did not mention any "Government
10 knew" type things.
11 Q. Can I take you to BBC/1/15? It is a reference you have
12 not been taken to so I will take you to it, if I may.
13 Mr Humphrys, four paragraphs down, and he is talking to
14 Mr Ingram, he says this:
15 "What we have here is a source, within the
16 Intelligence Service."
17 In fact, that is the first reference to, as it were,
18 the source being within the Intelligence Service. Who
19 told him that?
20 A. I do not know. It was not me.
21 Q. Did he infer that from your earlier broadcast?
22 A. I do not know. I do not know how John Humphrys arrived
23 at that. You would have to ask him.
24 Q. Did you put him right?
25 A. I did not have the opportunity to because I had finished
1 broadcasting by then.
2 Q. Did you read this transcript at any time before giving
4 A. I did not in fact hear the Adam Ingram interview because
5 I was broadcasting on another station at the time, on
6 Radio Scotland or something, so I did not even know that
7 it had been said.
8 Q. When did you become aware that it had been said?
9 A. Probably not until about 18th June when we got some
10 transcripts for the Foreign Affairs Committee hearing,
11 and possibly not even then because I think I just got
12 the transcripts of what I myself had said rather than
13 what Adam Ingram had said.
14 Q. But you did not correct it then?
15 A. As I say, I am not sure I was actually in possession of
16 the transcripts at that point. I did make it clear, as
17 I have said in my evidence earlier today, to the Foreign
18 Affairs Committee that I did not characterise my source
19 as somebody in the Intelligence Services; but I have
20 also said the reasons why I did not say he was not
21 a member of the Intelligence Services, because that
22 would narrow down the source identification too much.
23 Q. Can I take you to BBC/4/205? This is Miranda Holt's
24 transcribed note. Can I take you to an entry four lines
1 "'Sexed up' 45 minutes -- added at Campbell's
3 Then there is this:
4 "MI6 -- defector. 'to set up missile'."
5 This is a note she had made of a conversation with
6 you, is that right?
7 A. I believe this is something she made after a phone
8 conversation with me. You will see it says "AG
9 meeting -- chief British weapons inspector"; that is an
10 accurate description of Dr Kelly. That is where
11 I describe my source in this particular instance.
12 Q. Did you refer to MI6 at all in that conversation?
13 A. I am not sure I did, to be honest. I think -- I mean,
14 she may have asked something like, "So where did the
15 intelligence come from, did it come from a defector?",
16 something like that. It is extremely difficult to
17 recall these phone conversations at, you know, three and
18 a half months' distance.
19 LORD HUTTON: When did this conversation take place?
20 A. This would have been on the 28th, the afternoon of the
22 MR DINGEMANS: So there are those errors you accept in your
23 transmission on 29th May?
24 A. Yes, I do. Yes.
25 Q. In fact, on 29th May there was an allegation made
1 against the Government of conscious wrongdoing; do you
2 accept that?
3 A. My feeling on this was that it was an allegation less
4 serious than that; that it was part of a political
5 debate. As I say, I mean, the Ministry of Defence press
6 log is -- has got -- I have just got a -- I mean, the
7 stories in the newspapers in the morning of 29th May,
8 that was before a word had been spoken by me, included
9 the Independent splash "Labour rebels threaten to report
10 Tony Blair for misleading Parliament"; the Mirror "War
11 of Lies"; the Guardian "Tony Blair faces growing crisis
12 over failure to uncover WMD"; The Times "Inquiry into
13 arms dossier claim". So this was seen --
14 Q. So you thought you would join in?
15 A. This was seen as part of --
16 Q. Is that right, Mr Gilligan?
17 A. This was seen as part of a continuing debate. It was
18 not something we created. It was not something we
20 Q. I did not say you created it, Mr Gilligan. I am asking
21 you about 29th May. Did you think you would join in
22 with that morning's headlines?
23 A. No, that was not the intention. The intention was to
24 report what Dr Kelly had told me; and I regret that on
25 those two occasions I did not report entirely carefully
1 and accurately what he had said. My error was to
2 ascribe that statement to him when it was actually
3 a conclusion of mine.
4 Q. BBC/4/202. This is a note before the programme goes
5 out. It says this at the top:
6 "Gilligan -- has a v good story he hasn't stood up
7 yet. I'll explain in the meeting. ET."
8 Somebody has helpfully told us who ET is. Did you
9 stand up the story before it was broadcast?
10 A. As I said earlier when I gave evidence the first time,
11 I think this refers to a different story because it is
12 dated four days before I actually spoke to the programme
13 about the dossier story.
14 Q. But it was two days after you met Dr Kelly.
15 A. Yes, it was. But I do not believe this refers to the
16 same story. I did other stories in the interim.
17 Q. Have you in the time since you gave evidence been able
18 to identify what other story that may have been?
19 A. No, but I can, if you wish.
20 Q. The proper construction of the words used on 29th May
21 was an allegation of conscious wrongdoing, you accept
22 there was no support for that?
23 A. I do not accept that there was no support. As I say,
24 Dr Kelly had said that the 45 minutes claim in the form
25 in which it was used in the dossier in the foreword was
1 wrong, was considered to be unreliable and had been
2 included "against our wishes"; and it was my judgment
3 from that that the wishes had been expressed, which we
4 do indeed know to have been the case now; but, as I say,
5 my error was in ascribing that directly to Dr Kelly,
6 because he did not say it in terms.
7 Q. Is that why you never corrected the original charge in
8 the original broadcast?
9 A. Well, I repeatedly corrected any impression we may have
10 given that the Government had lied or that it had
11 fabricated anything or that the 45 minutes claim was not
12 real intelligence. I started the second piece, the 7.32
13 piece, by saying: no, it was real intelligence. I then,
14 on 31st May, said that we did not accuse the Government
15 of lying or fabrication. I said the same thing in the
16 Spectator, I said the same thing in The Mail on Sunday
17 and I said the same thing in the Foreign Affairs
19 LORD HUTTON: May I just ask you, Mr Gilligan, if we look at
20 BBC/1/5, that is the broadcast at 7.32, if that could
21 just be turned up, please. At the end of his
22 introduction there Mr Humphrys says:
23 "Are you suggesting, let's be very clear about this,
24 that it was not the work of intelligence agencies?"
25 You replied:
1 "No, the information I'm told was dubious did come
2 from the agencies, but they were unhappy about it..."
3 et cetera.
4 Do I understand from an earlier answer you gave that
5 at the end of your first broadcast at 6.07 am you
6 realised that you may have given the wrong impression in
7 what you said and then you deliberately set out to
8 correct it in that second broadcast at 7.32 am?
9 A. Yes. I had not intended anyone to believe that the
10 45 minutes point was not real intelligence or that it
11 was fabricated or that it had been written by political
12 appointees at Downing Street or anything like that.
13 I wanted to correct that impression and was given the
14 opportunity to do so and did so.
15 LORD HUTTON: Yes. Then I understand that you realised at
16 the end of the first broadcast that you may have given
17 the wrong impression; is that right?
18 A. I think that is right. I mean, I said -- I did not want
19 anyone -- I mean, my intention -- it was not my
20 intention to give any wrong impression. I was not sure
21 I had, but if I had I wanted to correct it and I wanted
22 to make sure that the point was clear, that this was
23 real intelligence.
24 LORD HUTTON: Yes. I had understood your earlier evidence
25 to be, I just want to be quite sure about this, that you
1 had actually appreciated at the end of the first
2 broadcast that you may have given the wrong impression,
3 but is it perhaps more accurate to say that you were
4 concerned to make it clear in this second broadcast that
5 the intelligence was real intelligence?
6 A. Yes, that was my concern. I mean, at the end of the
7 first broadcast I was concerned that there might have
8 been a potential danger. I did not know whether I had
9 or not, but I just wanted to make it absolutely clear
10 that I did not accuse the Government of making up
11 intelligence or of lying.
12 MR DINGEMANS: Having introduced that, over the page at
13 page 6 you go on to say that the Government knew that
14 the claim was questionable. It is not much of
15 a retraction, is it, Mr Gilligan?
16 A. Well, knowing that a claim is questionable is not the
17 same as knowing that it is wrong; and for that reason
18 I was happier with the word "questionable". And as we
19 now know -- I mean, David Kelly had told me that the
20 claim had been harshly questioned, and that it was
21 considered unreliable and it was believed to have been
22 misinterpreted and it had been included "against our
23 wishes"; and so it was a reasonable construction to put
24 that it had been questioned.
25 You know, if you are putting something in in the
1 knowledge that it is questionable, it is not as serious
2 as putting something in in the knowledge that it is
4 Q. You did not give adequate notice of this proposed
5 broadcast to your editor on the Today Programme, did
6 you, Mr Gilligan, partly because you had no intention of
7 making the charges that you did the night before?
8 A. It is correct to say that I did not give notice that
9 I intended to say "probably knew it was wrong" because,
10 as I said earlier, that was a slip of the tongue. It
11 just came out. It is one of the perils of live
12 broadcasting. But I mean, on the broadcast as a whole
13 there is no question I did give adequate notice. The
14 script was sent to the night editor several hours in
15 advance of broadcast. A script was sent to the news
16 bulletins editor. The content of the story was closely
17 discussed with the editor and the day editor the day
18 before; and nobody has complained that I did not give
19 them adequate notice. You know, if I had not, then they
20 would have had the sanction of not broadcasting it.
21 Q. It was intended to run this story as a "chatter in the
22 air" piece, was it not?
23 A. That is somebody else's characterisation, but it is not
24 unfair. It was not the lead item on the programme, that
25 was the cluster bombs story. I mean, it seemed to us,
1 and obviously in hindsight this is incorrect, but it
2 seemed to us as actually not, you know, strikingly new.
3 There had been an enormous amount of comment and
4 allegation about the Government's alleged manipulation
5 or untruthfulness in the arms dossier. I have given you
6 three of the pieces on that morning alone; there had
7 been many before. And it was seen as a contribution to
8 that debate.
9 You know, politics is an area in which allegations
10 of exaggeration and misleading behaviour are the stock
11 in trade, they are made daily. It did not seem to us to
12 be as serious as a criminal allegation of sort of
13 bribery or something like that. Perhaps we were wrong
14 about that, but that is how it seemed. That was how we
15 approached the piece. That is how we ran it. It was
16 not intended as the definitive view of the dossier, it
17 was intended as the opinion of one source.
18 Q. BBC/5/124. This is a letter of 27th June. You realise
19 you have made a mistake after the first broadcast, you
20 tell us. 7.32 you say you put it right. This is the
21 letter of 27th June. The BBC are specifically asked:
22 "Does it still stand by the allegation made on that
23 day that both we and the intelligence agencies knew the
24 45 minute claim to be wrong and inserted it despite
25 knowing that?"
1 The answer is given:
2 "Andrew Gilligan accurately reported the source
3 telling him that the Government 'probably knew that the
4 45 minute figure was wrong' and that the claim was
6 That is simply untrue.
7 A. Yes, that is incorrect.
8 Q. You were involved in drafting this letter, were you?
9 A. I was involved in the drafting process. I cannot
10 remember exactly what comments I offered on this part of
11 it. It was not written by me, it was not sent by me.
12 I was involved. I have been trying to cast my mind back
13 to remember exactly what I said about this and I cannot,
14 but it is clearly wrong to say that.
15 Q. This was a very serious charge, as it turned out, or
16 a matter of great public interest, where you broadcast
17 words simply unscripted. Do you accept that that was
19 A. Yes, we should have scripted it.
20 Q. You did not give notice of the matters in your broadcast
21 to No. 10, did you?
22 A. No, although I did to the MoD and that --
23 Q. You did not to No. 10. As to the MoD, all you said to
24 the MoD was that there was going to be a discussion of
25 weapons of mass destruction; you did not give any notice
1 about the 45 minutes claim being the subject of the
2 broadcast, did you?
3 A. Yes, I did. I specifically mentioned the 45 minute
4 claim as one which had excited disquiet in the
5 intelligence agencies.
6 Q. You wrote an article in The Mail on Sunday, and we have
7 seen it, it is BBC/1/27, which someone has said gave the
8 story "booster rockets". It was headlined:
9 "... why Blair misled us all over Saddam's WMD. His
10 response? One word ... Campbell."
11 Part of the reason for the headline was surely this:
12 in your earlier broadcast you had suggested conscious
13 wrongdoing and that was picked up by the headline
14 writer, was it not?
15 A. No, I do not think that was the case. I mean that
16 headline is not supported by the article. The --
17 Q. Did you correct the headline or article afterwards?
18 A. I was -- no, I did not -- you know, I was not in
19 a position to. No complaint had been received about the
20 headline or the article; and it is unrealistic, really,
21 to imagine that a newspaper would correct it if no
22 complaint had even been received. The headline was not
23 my work, it was somebody else's work. I would not have
24 written that headline.
25 Q. Mr Humphrys gets it wrong in saying "Intelligence
1 Services", The Mail on Sunday get it wrong in "saying
2 Blair misled us all" and yet you do not do anything
3 about these errors other people are making on your
5 A. Well, as I say, if a complaint had been made about this
6 story or indeed about the headline to The Mail on Sunday
7 I would have recommended to the Mail on Sunday that they
8 say that the headline is wrong, because they say that it
10 Q. Can I take you to BBC/5/110, 27th June, and suggest one
11 reason why you did not get the letter of 27th June
12 accurate? Because here is a memo you are sending to
13 Kevin Marsh, Mark Damazer, Richard Sambrook and others.
14 And you say this:
16 "As well as responding to the Government's questions
17 today it is perhaps worth considering being slightly
18 more proactive and also putting some questions of our
19 own to the Government, with the aim of turning the focus
20 back on the central issue..."
21 You, at this stage, had lost all objectivity, is
22 that fair?
23 A. No, I am not sure it is, but perhaps you can expand on
25 Q. Because if you read through this e-mail what you are
1 proposing to do is a whole series of points to make
2 against the Government, perhaps well founded, perhaps
3 not well founded, rather than concentrating on the
4 questions you have been asked about your broadcasts.
5 A. I do not think that is fair. I mean, we were dealing
6 quite intensively with the questions we had been asked
7 at the same time.
8 Q. Did you tell any of those responsible for the letter
9 that the notes you had made did not support the
10 allegations of conscious wrongdoing that had been made
11 early in the morning?
12 A. I was not asked about the notes at this stage by anybody
13 at the BBC; and had I been asked to show them I would
14 have shown them, but --
15 Q. So the answer is yes?
16 A. Yes, it is. Yes.
17 Q. Let me take you to the e-mails, finally. FAC/6/223. At
18 the bottom of this e-mail you describe -- scrolling down
19 the page -- Dr Kelly as the source:
20 "He also told my colleague Susan Watts, science
21 editor of Newsnight ..."
22 If we go over the page, you set out what is said in
23 Susan Watts' broadcast. Do you accept there you were
24 purporting to tell someone who Susan Watts' source was?
25 A. Yes, I did, and it was completely wrong of me.
1 MR DINGEMANS: I am grateful.
2 LORD HUTTON: Any re-examination, Ms Rogers?
3 Re-examination by Ms Rogers
4 Q. There are one or two points I would like to pick up and
5 I would like to do it before lunch, if I may.
6 First of all, just dealing with one of the points
7 that was made towards the end of this, the suggestion
8 that you did not give adequate notice to your editors at
9 the Today Programme about the story you intended to
11 First of all, have you had any complaint from
12 Kevin Marsh, who is the editor, or anybody else about
13 a lack of notice?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Could we have up BBC/8/1? This is an e-mail from
16 Kevin Marsh to you sent on 30th May, that is the day
17 after the broadcast. Can you just read the beginning
18 part of that?
19 A. "Statement of the obvious, I guess, but it's really good
20 to have you back here in the UK. Great week; great
21 stories, well handled and well told."
22 Q. I think you can stop there. That represents what
23 Kevin Marsh said to you?
24 A. About the story 24 hours or so after it was broadcast.
25 Q. Going back over what was broadcast on the 29th, there is
1 only one point I want to pick up because this ground has
2 been very heavily gone over. In the transcript at
3 BBC/4/226 -- before I ask you to look at the transcript,
4 can I just clarify one point: had you seen the headlines
5 or any of the newspapers that were going to be published
6 on the 29th at the time that you prepared the story?
7 A. No, I had not, because I prepared it on the evening of
8 the 28th.
9 Q. Could we scroll down the page a little, just to the end
10 of your contribution. I think we see it now before the
11 JH there, at the end of the item. We have the words:
12 "Now the forty five minutes really is, is not just
13 a detail, it did go to the heart of the Government's
14 case that Saddam was an imminent threat, and it was
15 repeated a further three times in the body of the
16 dossier ..."
17 That is a point you made earlier on.
18 LORD HUTTON: Sorry, Ms Rogers, what broadcast is this?
19 MS ROGERS: It is the 7.32 item. There are two versions of
20 this transcript. I am afraid I have been using this
21 one; I know there has been reference to the other one.
22 The reason for using this one is it sets out the actor
23 voicing Dr Kelly's words. It is just before Mr Humphrys
25 "Andrew Gilligan, many thanks."
1 I wonder if you could look at, in the context of the
2 suggestion you are making a serious charge, can you just
3 read out the words from "and I understand".
4 A. "... and I understand that the Parliamentary
5 Intelligence and Security Committee is going to conduct
6 an enquiry into the claims made by the British
7 Government about Iraq, and it is obviously exactly this
8 kind of issue that will be at the heart of their
10 Q. What was your understanding about the potential
11 investigations at that time?
12 A. There had been reports in the newspapers over the
13 previous days that the ISC was going to conduct an
14 inquiry; and I had spoken to one of the members of the
15 ISC who had told me that, yes, they had in fact already
16 called for the intelligence, which they -- which we now
17 know they did on either the first or second week of May.
18 Q. I think you have referred before as to whether your
19 broadcast is a definitive judgment or a contribution to
20 the debate.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. We will not go over that. Looking at the question of
23 adequacy of notice of Downing Street. We know that
24 Downing Street listens to the Today Programme and they
25 had rung in with a denial at some point in the morning
1 before the 7.32 because Mr Humphrys refers to it.
2 In terms of further correspondence with
3 Downing Street, we know there is a letter of complaint
4 at CAB/1/154, which is the Ann Shevas letter. Scrolling
5 down this letter, I think it is right you did not see
6 this at the time?
7 A. No, I did not.
8 Q. But do you see anything in there that is an additional
9 contribution by way of statement from Downing Street on
10 this story, in terms of substantive comment on the
12 A. Let me look at the whole thing. (Pause). Can I see the
13 next page? No, I do not.
14 Q. Mr Sumption refers to what was said in terms of
15 Government denials. We are given a reference; I would
16 like, please, to have it turned up, it is CAB/1/158.
17 This is a Government document. I cannot give you the
18 date on which it is produced, but in terms of what was
19 being reported could we just look briefly? We have the
20 Prime Minister's statement in Poland, which is the first
21 one, where there is a denial. There is no reference
22 there to Mr Scarlett.
23 If we scroll on down there is a reference to the
24 Joint Intelligence Committee on the 1st.
25 But if we scroll on down right to the bottom entry,
1 the reference is made there -- I think you said you
2 thought it was 3rd or 4th June. We see that the
3 Prime Minister's quote in Hansard:
4 "I have discussed it, as I said, with the Chairman
5 of the Joint Intelligence Committee..."
6 That is the point at which we have a reference to
7 a statement from the Joint Intelligence Committee
9 A. The Chairman, yes. I think there is a point to be made
10 about the denials here. Although the Government has now
11 fastened on the phrase "probably knew it was wrong", it
12 was not in fact a phrase they mentioned in any way in
13 any of their complaints for a month. The initial
14 complaints were as you see, and the initial denials were
15 denials that intelligence had been invented and
16 fabricated. That was again something we specifically
17 said that we did not allege.
18 Q. We can read for ourselves the denial there. It is the
19 statement that says:
20 "... the 45 minute claim provoked disquiet among the
21 intelligence community..." is said to be "... completely
22 and totally untrue."
23 Moving on to what your function is when you are
24 reporting a conversation. I hope I will be forgiven for
25 stating the obvious. You are a journalist, and you are
1 not a transcriber of court proceedings. The function of
2 the LiveNote reporter is to get down every last word.
3 Do you regard it part of your function as a journalist
4 to report conversations in the same way that the
5 LiveNote reporter transcribes evidence?
6 A. No. I mean, the intention here was to convey the
7 essence of what Dr Kelly had told me; and the form in
8 which it is conveyed is a three or four minute radio
9 piece. It is impossible to say everything he said, but
10 the concern is to report it accurately and fairly.
11 Q. Do you regard it that if you report the substance of the
12 questions, the substance of what is said, that that is
13 as accurate as saying: this was the question, this was
14 the answer?
15 A. Yes. I mean, you know, with the exceptions which I have
16 already acknowledged where the phrasing was less than
17 perfect, I believe I reported accurately what Dr Kelly
18 had told me.
19 Q. There is another matter about the practicality of being
20 a journalist and what the function is. If you are
21 dealing with a source you cannot name, and we know that
22 Dr Kelly spoke to you on an unattributable basis, which
23 meant you could not say who he was or what his precise
24 role was, if you had been free to name Dr Kelly and tell
25 your listeners what his status was, would you have
1 wanted to do so?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. We know, from your previous evidence, that you had
4 researched what his status was; and I think you have
5 referred to Plague Wars, he is the senior adviser on
6 biological defence, the West's leading biological
7 warfare inspector, and so on. I think he had also told
8 you, for the record the reference is Day 3/101, that he
9 interpreted intelligence for the Intelligence Service?
10 A. Yes, on his field of expertise.
11 Q. So it is a problem when you cannot --
12 LORD HUTTON: I think this is a little leading, Ms Rogers.
13 MS ROGERS: I am sorry. Mr Gilligan explained if you cannot
14 identify the source, you do not want to do it by jigsaw
15 identification --
16 A. Yes, and --
17 Q. What was put to you while you were being questioned was
18 a summary question from your FAC evidence where one of
19 the MPs referred to what you said earlier. I would
20 like, if I may, to have FAC/2/136. At question 417,
21 which is at the foot of the page, we have Mr Maples
22 asking you about various sources. Your answer is over
23 the top of the next page.
24 A. Hmm.
25 Q. At the end of that first answer you are recorded as
2 "I really cannot characterise the source any further
3 than I already have done because it would compromise
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You are pressed in question 418. Could we just look at
7 your answer in full there?
8 A. Mr Maples asks -- I say I cannot characterise the source
9 any further. Mr Maples says:
10 "[What] No further than that he is a British
11 official. I think it makes a huge difference to us to
12 know how much credibility to attach to this. If it was
13 somebody who actually works in SIS or on the JIC
14 assessments staff ... can you not tell us which part of
15 the Government that person works in?"
16 Then I say:
17 "I have described him as one of the senior officials
18 in charge of drawing up the dossier and I can tell you
19 that he is a source of longstanding, well-known to me,
20 closely connected with the question of Iraq's weapons of
21 mass destruction, easily sufficiently senior and
22 credible to be worth reporting."
23 Q. Then again you are pressed in 419. Your answer?
24 A. I say again:
25 "A source of long standing and I described him in
1 the broadcast as one of the senior officials in charge
2 of drawing up the dossier. That is how I would leave
4 Q. So the reference back is the reference back to that
5 evidence. That is to put it in context.
6 The FAC come back, when you go back for your second
7 set of evidence, and they are still pressing about your
8 source. The line you still want to take is you do not
9 want to identify your source.
10 I just wanted to put in context the part of the
11 evidence that was put to you by looking at FAC/5/4.
12 Can you just explain -- there was a reference
13 immediately above to this being an opening statement.
14 Was this something that was unscripted and live or was
15 it prepared?
16 A. No, it was prepared.
17 Q. Can you explain what you are doing by making that
18 statement or seeking to do?
19 A. I am saying that what I told the Committee the first
20 time, the June 19th experience, represents the outer
21 limit of what I can say about my principal source and
22 I shall not be able to add anything to that evidence.
23 Q. Just finally, on the question, then, of identifying
24 Dr Kelly, there are many distinctions that can be drawn.
25 I understood from your evidence when you were being
1 questioned by Mr Sumption for you to be drawing
2 a distinction between someone who could be a member of
3 the intelligence community as distinct from somebody who
4 is a member of the Intelligence Services.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And I took it that your definition was the intelligence
7 community was wider than the Intelligence Services.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can I ask you this: can you be a source about
10 intelligence without being a member of the Intelligence
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And can you be a source about the Intelligence Services
14 without being a member of the Intelligence Services?
15 A. Yes, if you have close contact with them.
16 Q. Can we just look at the beginning of the Radio 5 Live
17 broadcast? BBC/4/240.
18 LORD HUTTON: Ms Rogers, I am not rushing you at all. Would
19 you like to adjourn now for lunch and resume in the
20 afternoon or will you be finished quite soon?
21 MS ROGERS: I will be finished very soon indeed. I will be,
22 I hope, about 2 minutes.
23 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
24 MS ROGERS: I just wanted to draw attention to the opening
25 words of this broadcast. Is your source described at
1 the start of that broadcast?
2 A. Yes. He is described as a senior official involved in
3 preparing the Government's dossier.
4 Q. Not obviously there as a member of the Intelligence
6 Can we go over to, I think it is the top of the next
7 page? Do you describe Dr Kelly there as a member of the
8 Intelligence Services?
9 A. Well, I describe him as my Intelligence Service source.
10 Q. Do you describe him as a member of the Intelligence
12 A. No, not in terms.
13 Q. The final point I have is this: this is the question of
14 how you described Dr Kelly in your evidence. I just
15 want it to be made clear. It may be that the error is
16 mine. I had heard it suggested that you had changed
17 your evidence. Can we be clear about the position on
18 the transcript at Day 3, page 137? What was flashed up
19 on the screen was a version of the transcript as put out
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. We see that the transcript there referred to you saying
23 that you had described Dr Kelly as "the senior official
24 in charge of drawing up the dossier". Had you in fact
25 ever said that?
1 A. No, that was a mistake in transcription.
2 Q. And I think the Inquiry is aware that the LiveNote
3 services very kindly checked, at our request, whether
4 the word "the" or "a" had been used.
5 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
6 MS ROGERS: It is accepted that it was a rare slip by
7 LiveNote that the word Mr Gilligan had used was "a", not
9 LORD HUTTON: I certainly accept that.
10 MS ROGERS: It is not a suggestion that you had changed your
12 LORD HUTTON: No.
13 MS ROGERS: Mr Gilligan, thank you.
14 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much, Mr Gilligan.
15 Thank you, Ms Rogers.
16 I will rise now and sit again at 2 o'clock.
17 (1.10 pm)
18 (The short adjournment)