Hutton report ‘leaked’

The political correspondent of The Sun newspaper says he has heard leaked conclusions from Lord Hutton’s report into the circumstances surrounding the apparent suicide of Dr David Kelly.

Dr Kelly apparently committed suicide after being exposed as the Ministry of Defence “mole” behind Andrew Gilligan’s report for the BBC’s Today programme, which alleged Downing Street “sexed up” a dossier on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Aside from the government, the BBC and Dr David Kelly’s family – who were shown the findings on Tuesday afternoon – Hutton has protected his verdict from media inquiries.

Those shown the report signed promises they would not disclose any details of the document.

Political leaders Michael Howard and Charles Kennedy will view the report at 06:00 GMT today.

At 12:30 GMT, Lord Hutton will outline the main thrust of the report live on television.

Trevor Kavanagh told the BBC that prime minister Tony Blair had evaded censure for the leaking of Dr Kelly’s name to the press.

“I have not seen the report, and I have not tried to see it, but I have spoken to someone who has read and has been able to tell me what it contains. They have told me the conclusions.

“The report says some things that were pretty predictable. Basically it says that the Prime Minister had no role in the leaking of the name of Dr David Kelly.

“It says that BBC correspondent Andrew Gilligan over egged his story that he broadcast live from home at 06:07 in that infamous broadcast.

“It also says that the BBC failed in its duty to check their facts before going to war against Downing Street.”

The veteran journalist said the Ministry of Defence has been “ticked off” for the way it had allowed Dr Kelly’s name to be “outed” to the press.

But defence secretary Geoff Hoon appeared to have been let off the hook.

He added Lord Hutton had pointed to “mitigating circumstances” as to why Dr Kelly had been kept in the dark over his media exposure.

“They are that David Kelly was seen as a man who was difficult to help and to advise,” he added.

“Dr. Kelly himself is blamed for breaking the rules of his professional engagement for speaking to Andrew Gilligan in the way that he did.”

Lord Hutton has cleared Mr Blair’s former director of communications, Alastair Campbell, of culpability, Mr Kavanagh said, and adjudged Mr Campbell to have been “doing the job he was supposed to do.”

The Sun newspaper will say today that Lord Hutton has concluded there was no “dishonourable, underhand or duplicitous strategy” by the Blair administration to make Dr Kelly’s name publicly known.

Liam Fox, chairman of Tory Party has ordered an inquiry into who leaked the news. “It has all the fingerprints of a government that’s willing to say or do anything to save its own skin,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Downing Street said: “We categorically deny anyone who was authorised by government to see this document has either shown it to or spoken about it to anyone else.”