Geoff Hoon under pressure over Dr Kelly

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon is reportedly prepared to accept responsibility for the release of Dr Kelly’s name as a possible mole according to reports today.

The Daily Telegraph has claimed that he told friends that his ministerial career is coming to an end.

Witnesses to the Lord Hutton’s judicial inquiry into Dr Kelly’s death last week suggested that Mr Hoon overruled Sir Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the MoD, and insisted the former UN inspector must appear before the Commons’ Foreign Affairs Select Committee, for reasons of ‘political expediency.’

Dr David Kelly was an MoD weapons expert and the source for BBC and Daily Mail stories by Andrew Gilligan which alleged that Downing Street “sexed up” a key intelligence dossier on Iraq to boost the case for war. The BBC did not reveal the source of the story as a row grew between them and the Government, but Dr Kelly came forward.

A committee was set up to look into the allegations, and although Dr Kelly believed that he was not the source, or that if he was his words had been distorted, he was asked to go before the public committee.

The story comes ahead of evidence presented by the Prime Minister’s director of communications Alastair Campbell and Chief of Staff Jonathan Powell this week.

Geoff Hoon is expected to face Lord Hutton next week.