Hutton dismayed by reactions to report
Lord Hutton has reportedly been shocked by the reaction to his report into the apparent suicide of government weapons expert Dr David Kelly.
The law lord allegedly believed that his findings on Dr Kelly’s death were balanced in their criticism of both the government and the BBC and was surprised by the resignations at the corporation.
Lord Hutton is apparently dismayed by the accusations that the report was a whitewash and believes that the findings were misinterpreted by the media, the Guardian reports.
BBC chairman Gavyn Davies, director general Greg Dyke and defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan all resigned in the wake of the Hutton Report.
Rumours are circulating in Westminster and Whitehall that Lord Hutton is deeply upset by the accusations of a “whitewash” that followed the report’s publication on January 28th, the Guardian quotes MPs and officials as saying.
A senior MP told the newspaper: “Lord Hutton is deeply unhappy about how his report has been treated, how it was rubbished. He genuinely thought it would put an end to speculation.”
There is also allegedly growing concern in Whitehall that Alastair Campbell used the report’s findings to launch a fresh attack on the BBC.
Lord Hutton reportedly feels that a passage of the report was misinterpreted as a blanket criticism of the BBC’s editorial polices, when in fact it referred specifically to the “very unusual and specific circumstances” relating to Mr Gilligan’s allegations that the government “sexed up” a dossier on Iraqi weapons.
The Ministry of Defence is reviewing its procedures for looking after staff. However, many believe that the criticisms of the department in the Hutton Report were too muted to lead to any marked changes.
MPs on the Commons public administration committee are planning to question Lord Hutton about his reaction to the report and its aftermath when he appears before them in May.