Hoon misled MPs over dossier concerns, report to claim

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon is to be accused of misleading MPs about the Government’s controversial Iraq weapons of mass destruction dossier.

The Evening Standard newspaper today claims that the report of the Intelligence and Security Committee into the dossier and the decision to go to war – due for publication tomorrow – lays the blame for “sexing up” dossier with Mr Hoon, and exonerates Alastair Campbell.

The Defence Secretary, the report will say, ignored advice from senior civil servants when he denied Defence Intelligence Staff were unhappy with the dossier, the paper claims.

Furthermore, the report is expected to state that the claim that Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes should never have been included in the dossier.

Dr David Kelly, who apparently killed himself after being exposed as the source of the BBC’s story about the “sexed up” dossier, gave evidence in private to the ISC shortly before his public appearance before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

The report is expected to shed light on what he told the Committee.

The ISC’s report was passed to Downing Street on Tuesday for clearance, ahead of the Thursday publication date.

If the report is as critical of the Defence Secretary as the Standard suggests, whether Mr Hoon can survive in Government – after having already been fingered in many quarters as the Government’s most likely fall guy – remains in doubt.