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Er ...This is the only sudden and suspicious death in modern times that has not been followed by a proper inquest.
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Foul play vs suicide: Ten years on, the row still rages over the death of Dr David Kelly
The weapons expert's body was discovered in lonely woodland – wrists slashed – but journalist Miles Goslett has always pushed for an inquest. He goes head-to-head with John Rentoul of The IoS, who insists that Dr Kelly killed himself, as Lord Hutton found, and that to think otherwise is to believe a ridiculous and tasteless fairy story
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After ten years, most of those convicted during the days of the great (homemade) Irish threat would still have been in prison for crimes they hadn't committed.Dr David Kelly’s friend pleads for conspiracy theories to end
Conspiracy theorists should finally accept that Dr David Kelly, the government weapons inspector, committed suicide, one of his closest friends has said on the 10th anniversary of his death.
By Neil Tweedie
9:25PM BST 16 Jul 2013
Prof Alastair Hay, a leading authority on chemical weapons, blamed the inadequacies of Lord Hutton’s investigation into Dr Kelly’s death and the failure to hold a full inquest for allowing rumours that he was murdered to take root.
But he said the truth was that Dr Kelly had been “hounded” to his death by ministers and senior civil servants in Tony Blair’s government. Dr Kelly took a pills overdose on a hillside near his Oxfordshire home on July 17, 2003.
“I didn’t feel that [Hutton] did a really good job at all,” said Prof Hay. “He left so many openings for conspiracy theorists. It’s right that people question evidence if they think there hasn’t been a proper hearing, and it’s important that these things are done properly. Unfortunately, Hutton didn’t do that.”
But the professor of environmental toxicology at Leeds University said he felt that blood tests carried out on Dr Kelly had “kicked into touch” any suggestion that he was murdered.
Dr Kelly, a member of a United Nations inspection team sent to Iraq to unearth weapons of mass destruction, had been subjected to humiliating questioning by a Commons select committee two days before his death. In an operation choreographed by Downing Street, he had been exposed as the source of a BBC report alleging that No 10 had “sexed-up” intelligence to justify the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
The subsequent inquiry into Dr Kelly’s death chaired by Lord Hutton, which took the place of a standard inquest, was widely dismissed as a whitewash, allowing Mr Blair and members of his inner circle to escape blame for helping drive a man to suicide.
Lord Hutton concluded that Dr Kelly had killed himself by overdosing on painkillers before cutting a small artery in his wrist, but theories that he was murdered as part of an Establishment cover-up have abounded ever since.
In 2011, Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, rejected calls for an inquest following a review of the evidence, saying that there was no possibility of a finding other than suicide.
“A proper inquest would have helped lay to rest the issue about the cut on his wrist, the tablets he had taken, and so on,” said Prof Hay. “I have many contacts in the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office and there has never been an issue about any sort of conspiracy or anybody else having been involved.
“I don’t know what was going through David’s head at the time, but when I saw him giving evidence to the parliamentary foreign affairs select committee he was extremely distressed and not in control, which was unusual for him. I’m sure it must have been traumatic.” Referring to Dr Kelly’s belief that there was no evidence of WMD in Iraq, Prof Hay added: “He was in a position to rubbish the Government’s line and they need to quell that. David had great integrity — he was interested in the truth.
“I feel that he was hounded. He was playing a very dangerous game because of the position he was in.”
The Murder of Dr. David Kelly. “A Symbol of the Blackness of the Tony Blair Cabal”
By Dr. David Halpin
Global Research, September 05, 2013
Theme: Law and Justice
Where has a very small band of doctors and lay persons got to in achieving a searching and lawful inquiry into the death of this man? Not very far is the answer. But their energy, ethos, powers of analysis and intelligence have unearthed so many unanswered questions and so many lies that logic dictates foul play was the cause of his demise. And the fact that Lord Falconer of Thoroton arranged for Lord Hutton of Bresagh “urgently to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly ” within three hours of the corpse being found showed very clearly that the Blair cabal wanted to contain, manipulate and emasculate any inquiry into this most high profile and unnatural death.
Some have criticised us for focusing on the death of one man, when the ‘coalition of the willing’ had murdered over 1 million humans, by usual ratio maimed over 2 million and caused 4 million to flee their homes. 5 million orphans, 1 million widows, and unusual and frequent birth defects completes the ‘legacy’ of Anthony Blair. The media here in perfidious Albion have often referred to this need of his for a legacy. It is there in good measure as the sun sets on that multitude of graves.
The focus on Kelly’s death is entirely appropriate. It is a symbol of the blackness of the Blair cabal.
It is also a bleak monument to the power and cunning of the British state. It has also revealed the principles in some. I can recall a colleague or two saying to me with a thin smile ‘He was bumped off wasn’t he?’ as the shoulders were shrugged. Many believe that cause of death but they go on to say that an inquest will never happen; Britain will never know the story until decades have passed. They might have in mind that most of the records will not be opened for another 60 years. These submissive people will still vote at the next election for Tweedledee, Tweedledum or Tweedle, lamely accepting that their government can do such things, and get away with it. This disconnection is maintained by the media, by shallow thought and by blind loyalty to an illusory democracy.
Norman Baker MP wrote a good book – ‘The Strange Death of David Kelly’. He concluded that he had been murdered.
That book would be longer now because many more facts, omissions and lies have been disinterred since 2007 but that has got us no further. I have described this case as being of very high voltage; the state, so shadowy in such things, has been determined to keep the lid tightly fastened on the truth in that churchyard of St Mary’s, Longworth. Every time one looks at the transcripts on the Hutton ‘Inquiry’ web site (1) contradictions and omissions jump out. The five chapters preceding the last two on the law, record some of the most salient. Some others are in the front of my mind.
The first policeman on the scene after the lay searchers had reported their grisly find, was Detective Constable Coe. When he gave ‘evidence’ at Hutton he said there was only one colleague with him – DC Shields. Others at and near the scene reported there were two men with Coe. In an important Daily Mail article of 9th of August 2010 (2) Coe confessed that there was a second man with him. His name has not been released but he should have appeared at Hutton and be named anyway. In the same interview he volunteered ‘On the ground there wasn’t much blood about, if any.’ Coe, since retired, has been interviewed by the Thames Valley police but an inquiry under FoI showed it to be cursory.
There is no question that the body was moved. Ms Holmes was the lay searcher who was lead by her dog Brock to Dr Kelly and came within 4 foot of his corpse. The time was 9.20 am. She described the head and shoulders as being slumped against a tree. Mr Bartlett, the paramedic attended at about 10am with his colleague Ms Hunt. The body was ‘laid on its back’.
An interview with him by the Daily Mail 12 September 2010 (3) records – ‘He was lying flat out some distance from the tree. He definitely wasn’t leaning against it…. ‘When I was there the body was far enough away from the tree for someone to get behind it. I know that because I stood there when we were using the electrodes to check his heart. Later I learned that the dog team said they had found him propped up against the tree. He wasn’t when we got there. If the earlier witnesses are saying that, then the body has obviously been moved.’ At this point a coroner would have closed the inquest and the police would then have opened a criminal investigation. The only explanation for a dead body being moved by a person or persons unknown is a malign one. But Hutton did not adjourn the inquiry; the show had to go on. My Lord Hutton (4) -
“I have seen a photograph of Dr Kelly’s body in the wood which shows that most of his body was lying on the ground but that his head was slumped against the base of the tree – therefore a witness could say either that the body was lying on the ground or slumped against the tree. These differences do not cause me to doubt that no third party was involved in Dr Kelly’s death.”
David Bartlett is a brave and decent man; he is now a threatened species in these fair islands. In this Daily Mail of the 12th September 2010 (3) he said this of Hutton’s inquiry.
“I thought they’d already decided the outcome and wanted someone to confirm it for them. They’d decided it was going to be suicide and that was all cut and dried…. I wasn’t impressed with how it was conducted. It should have been under oath, the photographs of the scene should have been released and they shouldn’t have sealed the documents for 70 years.”
David Bartlett should have been conducting the inquiry but instead it required wigs and mountains of smooth but vapid words.
So the ‘law’ denied a scientist, and the living, a factual inquiry into his death. The lie, and not the law was invoked. I have described my own examination of the forensic medical ‘evidence’ of Dr Nicholas Hunt that underpinned the verdict as to cause of death and thus of suicide. Firstly he did not reveal his first post-mortem report of the 19th of July 2003 at the Hutton Inquiry although Hutton referred to its existence in his opening statement. The scan of the only available report by Hunt dated 25th of July and which was made public in the autumn of 2010 had the title ‘Final Post Mortem Report’. The coroner had also referred to that first report in his letter to the Department of Constitutional Affairs -
“The preliminary cause of death given at the opening of the inquest no longer represents the view of the Pathologist and evidence from him would need to be given to correct and update the evidence already received.” (5)
We might assume the first report spoilt the narrative significantly. Secondly he spoke only of one blood sample when he took five. He stayed silent when Dr Allan spoke of NCH44 which by deduction from his opening description of his tests contained NO paracetamol or DPPP. We can assume the same for the two other samples that Dr Allan had examined in his advanced laboratories. Why else were they passed over by the barrister? And finally, we have the ‘enhancement’, the ‘sexing up’ of the blood observed by Hunt at the scene and on the corpse. We could at least say that Hunt did not provide sound and complete evidence for the causes of death he listed. Perhaps he was overawed by the Hutton circus.
I have written on the ‘report’ provided by Professor Shepherd to the Attorney General on the 16th of March 2011 in chapter 5 but there is more. (6) He omitted discussion or defence of Hunt’s failure to bring his first PM report to Hutton. He would have known how the GMC had castigated Shorrock for his failure in this. (7)
Secondly, he dismissed the evidence of Ms Holmes.
Thirdly he dismissed my proposition that the volume of blood external to the corpse should be capable of measurement.
I had provided papers from the field of midwifery. Without such measurement, how can the pathologist say the victim died from haemorrhage alone? Dr Michael Powers QC has made this point with sharpness. Schorn MN Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TN 37240, USA ‘Visual estimation of blood loss is so inaccurate that its continued use in practice is questionable and it should not be used in research to evaluate treatment.’ Fourthly he dismisses the value of Henssge’s nomogram and his methods in estimating the time of death from the core and environmental temperatures. The scientific bases for Professor Henssge’s methods are very sound and backed up by observation. He has been most helpful in correspondence with me. Aside from the timing of events like a gun shot by witnesses or by CCTV for instance, Henssge’s methods remain central in estimating the time of death. Finally there is “ ..in which a young individual died solely as a result of a self inflicted, solitary incision of her left ulnar artery’ against the post-mortem report of the lady HSL82 recording a second cause of death – alcohol intoxication. Two other statements follow which emphasise the possibility. I have no words with which to sum up Professor Shepherd’s report to the Attorney General. None.
Given the lies it is fair to ask ten years on how he might have been assassinated, if that is what happened. No inquest, for a long list of reasons including the test of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, could possibly have brought a verdict of suicide. When my little letter to the Morning Star was published on the 16th of December 2003 I said at the end
“I have hesitated in writing this because I would not wish to hurt any family feelings but the elite have shown no such qualms.”
That wish still obtains but the hurt in Iraq is still felt by many millions. That probably goes unfelt by millions in Britain.
So what might have taken place? He probably made a rendezvous outside the village with a familiar person. It is likely he was taken away by car and ‘debriefed’. He would later have been sedated by an agent which could not be detected by standard forensic laboratory tests. One cannot force an adult to swallow tablets, especially given his difficulty in this, so to get Co-proxamol into his stomach and circulation a stout Ryle’s tube would have been inserted and a suspension of ground up tablets instilled. This might explain the abrasion of his lower lip which Dr Hunt could not.
It was a common happening in anaesthesia if the blade of the laryngoscope was not lubricated and the lip was not held down as it was introduced, the lip coming up against the incisors. Dr Hunt – “Yes, in the mouth there was a small abrasion on the lower lip. This was of the order of 0.6 by 0.3 centimetres, so very small; and there was no significant reaction to it.
Q. How could that abrasion have occurred?
A. With the particular appearance and location of this abrasion then it may have been caused by contact with the teeth, in other words biting.”
If a murder is to be made to look like suicide then the act has to be separate from the scene so that it is not contaminated by evidence of crime. It is possible that he was winched down from a helicopter with a man holding him by a ‘fire mans lift’. The cutting of the left wrist and ulnar artery would have been done later with great difficulty, given the very unsuitable knife, at the final scene on Harrowdown Hill. Although it seems there was plentiful herbiage in the wood, no police witness described a path that was taken by David Kelly from the bridle path to the tree. If he was winched down through the tree canopy that would explain the three abrasions on his scalp, and on dissection – two bruises over his chest on the left side, one bruise below his left knee and two below the right. But Dr Hunt’s explanations are of interest. (8) see paras 18.4 to 19.5.
And how might his life have been ended? The morbid possibilities are wide. Dr Hunt described a ‘tiny red lesion of uncertain origin on the inner aspect of the right thigh.’ It is not reported that the tissues beneath the skin were dissected so this was not excluded as an injection site. But transdermal injection can be used and eutectic solutions/creams etc as shown by Mossad’s attempts to assassinate Khaled Meshaal. As for agents, the ones that leave no trace are chosen. Physostigmine was used, again by Mossad, on Mahboub in Dubai with the help of sixteen cloned passports for entry and exit.
Our laws have been subverted; there has been no inquest. And Miriam Stevenson, through careful study and analysis, has shown that an inquest in this case would now be shackled in many ways. We were right to insist upon one although the sacrifices of time and effort have been vast. Others have sacrificed money. When the plea to the High Court was mounted in the summer of 2011 (9), Margaret Hindle and Miles Goslett, a free lance journalist, set up a fund raising campaign. Within a month £30,000 was raised from 440 members of the public. The outrage and disgust that people felt with the authorities over the death of Dr Kelly was great. One message by post conveys this very well -
“I am a pensioner with very limited funds, and only say this as I feel that this is so important to our Country that all efforts should be made to expose both governments of treating the public with total, and extreme contempt, As an ex Soldier thought that I had fought for democracy and pride in British standards. I feel let down, and betrayed by both Parties, the last for being totally vacuous and beyond all credibility, and practically the latest who seem to have lost all moral fibre, for which we were, as a nation, so proud.
I wish the campaign well, and hope that you can give us back some pride and expose this cover-up.”
I consider the deportation of Dr Kelly from Kuwait as being highly significant. His withering dismissal regarding the two machines which had been promoted strongly by the US as being for germ warfare by Saddam’s forces was even more significant.
The last words are Dr Hunt’s -
Knox. You have already dealt with this, I think, but could you confirm whether, as far as you could tell on the examination, there was any sign of third party involvement in Dr Kelly’s death?
Dr Nicholas Hunt. No, there was no pathological evidence to indicate the involvement of a third party in Dr Kelly’s death. Rather, the features are quite typical, I would say, of self inflicted injury if one ignores all the other features of the case.
This went without remark or question and characterised the whole.
NB All the words and ideas in this piece are the author’s alone.
1. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov. ... ry.org.uk/
2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z0y8AIdUwV
3. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... quiry.html
4. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov. ... 05.htm#a29 para 151
5. http://dhalpin.infoaction.org.uk/23-art ... al-council
6. http://dhalpin.infoaction.org.uk/23-art ... r-shepherd
7. http://dhalpin.infoaction.org.uk/23-art ... orrock-gmc
8. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov. ... rans33.htm
9. http://dhalpin.infoaction.org.uk/23-art ... r-our-laws
www.globalresearch.ca/the-murder-of-dr- ... al/5348278" data-title="The Murder of Dr. David Kelly. “A Symbol of the Blackness of the Tony Blair Cabal”">
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Revealed: How a Blair fixer picked the judge for the David Kelly Inquiry just three hours after the weapons inspector's suicide
Letter from Lord Hutton shows he was asked three hours after the death
He had not been identified and no cause of death had been established
Hutton was contacted by Blair's friend and former flatmate Lord falconer
Is evidence of the extraordinary haste with which the Blair Government set up an inquiry to replace the usual coroner’s inquest
By Miles Goslett
Published: 22:51, 13 July 2013 | Updated: 16:49, 14 July 2013
A previously unpublished document which reinforces claims that the investigation into the death of Dr David Kelly was an establishment ‘whitewash’ has been obtained by The Mail on Sunday.
A letter written by Lord Hutton, who chaired the public inquiry into Dr Kelly’s death, shows he was asked to do the job just three hours after the Iraq weapons expert was found dead.
At that point he had not been identified and no cause of death had been established.
Hutton was contacted by Lord Falconer, Tony Blair’s former flatmate who was Lord Chancellor and played a key role in the events leading up to the Iraq War, and the handling of Dr Kelly’s death.
The letter has come to light as campaigners prepare to mount a silent vigil in London on Thursday to mark the tenth anniversary of Dr Kelly’s death.
It is the latest – and most striking – evidence of the extraordinary haste with which the Blair Government set up an inquiry to replace the usual coroner’s inquest.
Dr Kelly’s body was found on the morning of July 18, 2003, in woods close to his Oxfordshire home, shortly after he was exposed as the source of a BBC news report questioning the grounds for war in Iraq.
Critics have never been satisfied with the conclusions of the Hutton Inquiry, which decided that Dr Kelly, 59, who worked for the Ministry of Defence, died from loss of blood after cutting his wrist with a blunt gardening knife.
Thursday’s vigil, to be held outside the High Court in London, will highlight the fact that no coroner’s inquest has ever been held into his death. There have been claims Hutton’s suicide verdict was flawed and failed to take account of key medical and other evidence. Some claim it was part of a cover-up.
A decade after Dr Kelly was found dead, Mr Blair remains acutely sensitive to the accusation that he has ‘blood on his hands’ over the death.
Lord Hutton’s letter to Lib Dem MP Norman Baker states: ‘On July 18, 2003, I was telephoned to my room in the House of Lords .  .  . I do not remember the precise time but my recollection is that it was about noon .  .  . I think the Lord Chancellor [Falconer] spoke to me and asked me to come to see him in his room in the Lords [where] he asked me to conduct an inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly and I agreed to do so.’
According to police records, the 999 call to report the discovery of a body had been made barely three hours earlier, at 9.20am.
In addition, a Freedom of Information response from the Cabinet Office details two phone calls made that day, between Mr Blair, en route from Washington to Tokyo, and Lord Falconer.
They spoke between 12.10pm and 12.13pm and again between 12.20pm and 12.25pm – the time when, according to Hutton’s letter, he was being appointed by Falconer. Although the details of the conversations have not been disclosed, the timing suggests Falconer may have consulted Blair on his choice of Hutton to lead the inquiry.
Having secured Hutton, Falconer used an obscure law to replace a coroner’s inquest with the non-statutory public inquiry.
Police records show that by midday on July 18, the only medical professionals who had viewed Dr Kelly’s body on Harrowdown Hill were experienced ambulance crew members Vanessa Hunt and Dave Bartlett.
Both have voiced scepticism about the manner of his death, saying there was very little blood when they arrived, not an amount consistent with a wrist slashed by a knife, and believe his body was moved after the volunteer searchers found it but before they saw it.
Many senior medical professionals have also argued that Dr Kelly could not have bled to death by severing the tiny artery he apparently cut with his blunt knife.
Lord Falconer was also involved in the decision to overrule warnings that the war could be illegal.
The organiser of Thursday’s protest, retired NHS worker Margaret Hindle, said: ‘I’m motivated by civic duty and respect for the law.
I’ve long felt there was something suspicious about Dr Kelly’s death and the fact there hasn’t ever been a full inquest. I want to help secure one. Anyone is welcome to join us from 2pm to 4pm on Thursday.’
Neither Lord Falconer nor Lord Hutton was available for comment.
I don't believe Kelly murder conspiracy theory - I think vicious Labour drover him to his death
By Simon Walters
This Thursday, a small group of people will mount a vigil outside the High Court in London to mark the tenth anniversary of the biggest British political scandal in half a century.
Unlike most demonstrators, they have no political axe to grind, just one thing in common. They remain outraged by the tragic death of Dr David Kelly, a humble civil servant who devoted his life to serving his country.
His ‘crime’ was to let the cat out of the bag over the Blair Government’s dirty secret: how it lied about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction to con the British public into backing the Iraq War.
And yet the truth would never have been known but for Dr Kelly. A few weeks after letting it slip, almost casually, to a BBC reporter, and inadvertently provoking a disgusting, Government inspired witch-hunt, he became another fatality of the Iraq War. I reported on Kelly’s death for this newspaper. Indeed, The Mail on Sunday played a not insignificant role in the controversy.
I have never believed Kelly was murdered by secret agents acting for the Government or anyone else. But I do believe he was driven to his death by the Government as part of a desperate attempt to kill the scandal he exposed over tea at London’s Charing Cross Hotel with the BBC’s defence correspondent, Andrew Gilligan.
Four weeks after the war ended, Gilligan told the Today programme on May 29, 2003, the Government probably knew all along its claims about WMDs were wrong.
At first, the Government’s response was muted. Four days later, on June 1, The Mail on Sunday published an article by Gilligan which accused Blair’s spin doctor Alastair Campbell of ‘sexing up’ the WMD intelligence dossiers. Campbell made no complaint to this newspaper about the article then, or since.
He couldn’t, because he knew it was true. And he knew that unlike the BBC, this newspaper had shown it was immune to his bullying.
Instead, the Government aimed its fire at the BBC and Kelly, easy meat for Blair and Campbell.
A vicious Downing Street operation to smear and ‘out’ Kelly was launched. If they thought this decent, private, patriotic man would crumble under the pressure, they were right. No one is suggesting they thought Kelly would end up dead. But he did.
A Mail on Sunday reporter was with Blair on a trip to the Far East the day Kelly’s death was announced. The newsman challenged white-faced Blair at a press conference: ‘Have you got blood on your hands?’ Blair stared in stony silence – and walked off.
For once, lost for words. With good reason. At the time, this newspaper was criticised for asking such a provocative question. Ten years later, not only does it look fair, the honest answer in the eyes of many, including me, would have been ‘Yes’.
No one in Whitehall took Kelly’s death more badly than Campbell. Again, with good reason. When he resigned as Blair’s spin doctor a month after Kelly died, he ‘spun’ it as a long-planned decision. In truth, he was forced out by Blair, who realised he was out of control.
Yes, it is true that the Hutton Inquiry into Kelly’s death blamed the BBC, not Blair and co for his death and none of the other Iraq inquiries have fully called them to account over their conduct of the war. But as we report above, Hutton is largely discredited. And the word is the Chilcot Inquiry into the war, due to report next year, will finally name and shame the guilty men.
Regardless of minor flaws in the BBC’s report about the ‘sexed up’ intelligence, it remains the biggest British political scoop in modern times. Less entertaining than MPs expenses, yes, but far more important than fiddled duck houses.
Despite inflicting appalling damage on the BBC for exposing the truth about the WMD dossiers, Campbell is regularly given a platform by the Corporation.
Will they ask him for an interview on Thursday to talk about the tenth anniversary of the Kelly tragedy, a subject about which he knows more than most?
Don’t hold your breath.
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Kelly: Blair promises public inquiry
MediaGuardian, Friday 18 July 2003 15.08 BST
Tony Blair has promised an independent judicial inquiry if David Kelly has died, journalists travelling with the prime minister on his flight from Washington to Tokyo have said.
His spokesman, Godric Smith, came to the back of the plane less than an hour ago to announce the possible inquiry.
He said a judge would be named this afternoon by the Ministry of Defence.
The development comes as Thames Valley police confirmed the description of the body found near Dr Kelly's home in Oxfordshire matched that of the MoD scientist.
A spokesman confirmed there would be no formal identification until tomorrow.
"We are currently treating this incident as an unexplained death and we will have to wait for the results of the postmortem," he said.
Tony Blair was told of the disappearance of Dr Kelly early this morning and spent much of his flight on the telephone, according to Sky News.
The prime minister's spokesman said he was very concerned for the family of Dr Kelly and promised a public inquiry if his death was confirmed.
"If it is Dr Kelly, there will be a public inquiry, I urge you not to jump to conclusions," said Godric Smith, the prime minister's official spokesman, who is travelling on the plane with Mr Blair.
His comments were reported by the political editor of Sky News, Adam Boulton and by BBC Radio 5.
Alastair Campbell, who usually travels with Mr Blair, is not on the plane - he is on his way back to London.
Mr Smith said he was unable to confirm whether the prime minister has spoken to Mr Campbell but said there was no reason to believe that he had resigned.
"While he understands there will be no formal identification until tomorrow, if it is Dr Kelly the prime minister is obviously very distressed for the family and the Ministry of Defence intends to hold an independent judicial inquiry and there will be an announcement this afternoon as to the name of the judge," Boulton reported.
The MoD said Dr Kelly had at no point been threatened with suspension or dismissal as a result of his admission he had spoken to Gilligan.
It was made clear to Dr Kelly at the time that he had broken civil service rules by having unauthorised contact with a journalist, but "that was the end of it", said a spokesman.
Dr Kelly was given five days to consider his options before the MoD issued its statement on Tuesday July 8 to say an unnamed official had spoken to Gilligan.
And he was given an opportunity to talk through the possible ramifications of going public before the statement was released.
The MoD spokesman said: "He was first interviewed before the weekend and then asked to think about what the options were over the weekend and a decision was taken to say nothing in the meantime.
"He was interviewed again on the Monday and the question of what was the best way forward was talked through with him.
"The contents of the statement were cleared with him before it went out and it was flagged up to him that it was possible his name might get into the public domain at some point and that it was likely the intelligence and security committee and foreign affairs committee would want to take evidence from him."
The spokesman added that the MoD had offered Dr Kelly the use of alternative accommodation to avoid any press attention at his home address.
When he appeared before the committee, Tory MP Sir John Stanley told Dr Kelly he had acted in a "proper and honourable manner" in coming forward to suggest he may have been Gilligan's source but had been "thrown to the wolves" by the Ministry of Defence.
Earlier today a scientist colleague of Dr Kelly said it was because he had so much integrity that he had come forward.
Professor Alistair Hay said the way Dr Kelly had been treated by politicians before the foreign affairs select committee earlier this week was "absolutely inexcusable".
"His whole demeanour during the foreign affairs committee was one of someone who had beaten by the process. I was just so worried by his whole demeanour at the FAC. I just think the pressure is intolerable for someone like him. He is a professional scientist, not somebody who should be a ping pong ball for politicians," Prof Hay told Radio 5 today after police revealed they had found a body near Dr Kelly's home.
Dr Kelly had met Gilligan in the Charing Cross Hotel in central London on May 22, a week before the claim that No 10 had inserted intelligence that Saddam Hussein could launch a chemical or biological weapons strike within 45 minutes was broadcast on the Radio 4 Today programme.
The story has sparked a lengthy and bitter row between the government, the BBC and critics of the war on Iraq.
Dr Kelly told the committee he did not think he could have been the source for the story because Gilligan's account of his conversation with the contact differed from his own version of events.
The foreign affairs committee chairman, Donald Anderson, told Sky News: "On the face of it, this appears to be a human tragedy, if the news is now confirmed, and puts much of the discussion which we have had in a very different and personal perspective."
Later Richard Ottoway, a Tory MP who was on the committee, said he felt the implications of the latest developments were very serious. He said the committee's conclusion that Dr Kelly was unlikely to have been Gilligan's source was flagrantly ignored by No 10, which reacted by saying it was 99% sure Dr Kelly was the BBC reporter's source.
He rejected the idea the committee's questioning of the former weapons inspector had been unduly harsh.
Mr Anderson said there was "no way in which government ministers can be blamed" for the way in which Dr Kelly's name became public.
And he rejected suggestions that the committee should reconvene to consider its position in the light of today's events.
"It is awful, but this is not relevant any more to the work of our committee."
· To contact the MediaGuardian newsdesk email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7239 9857
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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 July, 2003, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Reporter's diary: Blair's tour
Tokyo :: 2030 BST 18 July
Fourteen hours is a long time in politics. When we boarded the prime minister's plane in Washington, Tony Blair was glowing with pride, his speech to Congress an immensely satisfying occasion for him and his aides.
When we touched down in Tokyo he looked shattered. Somewhere vaguely skirting the Pacific, he'd woken up to find that Dr David Kelly, an adviser in the MoD, had gone missing.
Once feared dead, the sad personal tragedy and the dire potential consequences for the government were all too apparent.
They needed a thoughtful response. We were literally about to land by the time he'd worked out what to say, and it wasn't Tony Blair but his official spokesman who came back to tell us.
Thirty-five journalists were strapped in by their seatbelts, listening to the undercarriage open as we dropped below 4,000 feet towards Tokyo. Forget questions, there was barely time before the bump on the runway.
Stunned journalists have been since been mulling it over in the hotel bar, too troubled to sleep and suffering from the inevitable physical confusion when you haven't been to a proper bed for more than 30 hours.
Tony Blair can expect some irate as well as difficult questions when he finally faces the press later on.
Mid air Washington - Tokyo :: 0100 BST 18 July
Only 14 hours to go, how depressing a thought when you climb onto a plane even if the prime minister is on board and the house wine is Chablis Premier Cru.
Will I still like my colleagues by the time we get to Tokyo? None of them has washed since leaving London and it was very hot on the White House lawn.
Tony Blair is no doubt dreaming about the US constitution being changed so citizens from other countries can stand for the presidency.
Democratic nomination is open at the moment and judging by the gushing responses to his speech in Congress, he'd walk it.
Yet during his speech we saw the first sign that Mr Blair is starting to worry about how history will judge him.
Early on in his address to Congress he revealed a recent conversation with his son Nicky who has been studying 18th Century American history.
Mr Blair told us his son had urged him to think of think of Lord North.
"He lost America," as Nicky Blair put it. "No matter how many mistakes you make, dad, you'll never make one that big."
Has it really come to that?
Mid air London - Washington :: 2000 BST 17 July
The last time Tony Blair flew to Washington, the plane was hit by lightning.
From my window seat overlooking the left wing it was terrifying, a loud bang and a flash, though ultimately of course, harmless.
This trip is already far more terrifying - two of the press gallery ladies who lunch are trying to organise a "Lobby Idol" for the next leg of the trip in the Far East.
Interesting that 35 journalists cannot go to Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong without indulging in one of the popular local challenges - karaoke.
Having done an excruciatingly bad rendition of Robbie Williams' Angels on a recent stag do, I'm already dreading it.
Believe it or not, there's a class divide on these trips too. I felt it most acutely when the blue curtain came across and the panel filled the gap in the makeshift wall between economy and business class.
I could not help noticing Nick Robinson, political editor of ITN who this time last year was a BBC man, sitting comfortably in business class.
Leaving the BBC might have been painful in many respects but ITV certainly has its perks.
Despite the ongoing and bitter row between Downing Street and the BBC I could not help noticing with some satisfaction that on this specially chartered Boeing 777 the first item of in-flight entertainment was a BBC news bulletin rather than any competitor.
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Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Thursday, 22 February 2007
Timeline: David Kelly
Key events in conspiracy theories leading up to and following the death of Dr David Kelly.
References mentioned in brackets in this timeline refer to evidence on the Hutton Inquiry website.
19 July, 2003
Tony Blair gives a press conference in Japan and insists there will be an inquiry: "I think what is important now is that there is some due process and the reason for having an inquiry and I think people would have expected us to have one because of the tragedy that's occurred is so that the facts can be established." Mr Blair refuses to respond to a Daily Mail reporter who asks "Have you got blood on your hands, Prime Minister?"
A post mortem report written by Dr Nicolas Hunt - a Home Office accredited pathologist - says the main reason for death was an "incised wound in the left wrist". The watch and his spectacles had been removed which Dr Hunt says suggests self harm. He notes that Dr Kelly had heart disease.
There were four electrocardiogram pads on his chest, which were later discovered to have been put their by ambulance men.
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The next morning, as Thames Valley police mounted a massive search operation involving 90 officers, the news of the scientist’s disappearance was broadcast on radio and television news bulletins. At first the prime minister Tony Blair remained oblivious to this development. He was sitting in the first-class cabin of a Boeing 707 flying high above the Pacific. The plane was carrying him from Washington, where he had received repeated standing ovations during his historic address to Congress, to Tokyo for the start of a far-east tour.
Blair, however, would not remain uninformed for long. At 9.30 am, one of the prime minister’s members of staff took a call on the prime-minister's satellite phone from Downing Street, relaying the message that Kelly had been reported missing. Later that morning another call was taken. A body had been found in the countryside not far from Dr Kelly’s home. It already seemed clear that the scientist had committed suicide.
In the next few hours it would seem that Blair’s satellite phone was almost constantly engaged. He took two calls from Alastair Campbell and he also spoke to Geoff Hoon the defence minister and to Sir Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the ministry of defence. Sir Kevin had reportedly been closely involved in discussions about the decision to adopt the ‘confirmation stratgy’ in relation to press inquiries about the identity of the BBC’s source. It would subsequently be claimed that he had been opposed to the idea of revealing Kelly’s identity, but had been overruled by Geoff Hoon.
In these crucial moments Blair also spoke to his friend and close adviser Lord Falconer, who, as secretary of state at the newly formed department of constitutional affairs, would be directly involved in the commissioning of any judicial inquiry.
The extraordinary and almost certainly unprecedented result of these discussions was that, in a matter of hours, before the body of Dr Kelly had even been formally identified, a provisional decision was taken to hold a judicial inquiry. The prime minister’s spokesman Godric Smith came to the back of the plane to address journalists. He said that the prime minister was very concerned for the family of Dr Kelly and promised a public inquiry if his death was confirmed. ‘If it is Dr Kelly, there will be a public inquiry, I urge you not to jump to conclusions,’ he said.
The sheer speed with which a decision to hold a public inquiry was made seems in itself significant. One clear purpose was to attempt to dampen down the fires of speculation which the news of Dr Kelly’s death would undoubtedly light among journalists. But, according to a report which appeared more than a week later, there had been another factor in the mind of Tony Blair. On 27 July, Kamal Ahmed wrote this in the Observer:
The Observer can … reveal that Blair has felt that his political career was hanging by a thread after the death of Dr David Kelly, the Government scientist. The Prime Minister was concerned that if Kelly’s wife, Janice, accused the Prime Minister of having blood on his hands, his future could not be assured ….
Asked what would have been the impact on Blair had Janice Kelly directly blamed him for the death of her husband when she made her first public statement last week, one senior official said: ‘He would have been finished.’
These words cast a potentially revealing light on the statement which Tony Blair himself made to television cameras the following day. Early on Saturday morning, at a time when people in Britain were still asleep, and well before the Kelly family’s statement was released to the media later that day, Blair was walking through the corridors of the luxury New Otani Hotel in Tokyo when he made a detour in order to speak to the Sky News cameraman. He said he was ready to make a short statement. The cameraman was given 30 seconds’ notice and there would be no questions. The statement Blair now made would be relayed by broadcasting media in Britain throughout Saturday morning:
This is an absolutely terrible tragedy. I’m profoundly saddened for David Kelly and for his family. He was a fine public servant who did an immense amount of good for his country in the past and I’m sure would have done so again in the future.
There is now, however, going to be a due process and a proper and independent inquiry and I believe that should be allowed to establish the facts.
And I hope we can set aside the speculation and the claims and the counter-claims and allow that due process to take its proper course.
In the meantime, all of us, the politicians and the media alike, should show some respect and restraint. That’s all I intend to say.
The terms of this statement were, on the face of it, extraordinary. A senior government adviser had given an unauthorised briefing to a journalist in which he had reportedly criticised the government and cast doubt on their entire case for going to war with Iraq. Whatever he had in fact said, the interview he had given had led directly to a claim which Tony Blair himself had described as the gravest possible allegation that could be made against a prime minister. Yet Blair was now describing the very man whose improper conduct had given rise to this allegation as ‘a fine public servant who did an immense amount of good for his country.’
In view of the ‘revelation’ which would be made in the Observer a week later, it is difficult not to come to the conclusion that these words were composed with Dr Kelly’s family – and in particular his widow – in mind, and that one of their intended purposes was to rescue Blair’s own political career from the terminal damage it was imagined that Janice Kelly might at this point have been able to inflict upon it.
However, even if it could be demonstrated that this was indeed the case, this would not be the most remarkable implication of the Observer’s revelation. Even more bizarre was the implication that Tony Blair appears to have jumped to the conclusion that Dr Kelly’s widow might actually personally accuse him of having blood on his hands. What this improbable speculation suggests is that Blair had a guilty conscience. He appears to have recognised immediately that he had something to hide.
To say this is emphatically not to suggest that Tony Blair was indeed directly to blame for Dr Kelly’s death. Although, in the weeks which have passed since, journalists and politicians have repeatedly tried to blame Dr Kelly’s death on a number of individuals, including Alastair Campbell, Andrew Gilligan, Geoff Hoon and Tony Blair himself, allotting blame in this manner seems unhelpful. A wiser and more measured view has been put forward by the author Robert Harris, writing in the Daily Telegraph on 21 July: ‘I don't believe that anyone is “responsible” for Dr Kelly's death. The notion is distasteful and belittling of a man in extreme despair: these things are never as simple as that.’ However, the decision Dr Kelly took to end his own life does raise questions about the conduct of all the parties involved – including the prime minister – and it is right that these questions should be both asked and answered.
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New role for Campbell as he plans exit
Controversial spin doctor set to join Mandelson as an adviser on election strategy, reports Kamal Ahmed
The Observer, Sunday 27 July 2003 02.38 BST
Alastair Campbell is to be given a leading role in a new 'kitchen cabinet' to be set up by the Prime Minister after the expected departure of his controversial communications chief in the autumn.
Campbell will join Peter Mandelson, the former Northern Ireland Secretary, and Philip Gould, Blair's chief pollster, as advisers on election strategy in the run-up to the next General Election, probably in 2005.
Blairite officials say that the new grouping will give the Prime Minister a counter-balance to Gordon Brown supporters, who believe they have been strengthened by the imminent departure of Campbell.
The Observer can also reveal that Blair has felt that his political career was hanging by a thread after the death of Dr David Kelly, the Government scientist.
The Prime Minister was concerned that if Kelly's wife, Janice, accused the Prime Minister of having blood on his hands, his future could not be assured.
Depending on the outcome of the Hutton inquiry into Kelly's suicide, Blair could still be badly undermined by any intervention from the scientist's family.
Asked what would have been the impact on Blair had Janice Kelly directly blamed him for the death of her husband when she made her first public statement last week, one senior official said: 'He would have been finished.'
Sir David Omand, the key Whitehall official at the head of intelligence gathering for the Government, is to be questioned by the inquiry about his role in the lead-up to the naming of Kelly as a journalistic source.
Omand was the fourth key figure responsible for the Government's 'confirmation strategy' that Kelly's name would be confirmed if it were put to them by journalists.
Omand, who works in the Cabinet Office, Sir Kevin Tebbit, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, Geoff Hoon, the Defence secretary, and Pam Teare, Director of Communications, put the policy together before sending it to Downing Street 'for information'.
Campbell has told colleagues that he did not have to 'agree' the policy because it was already in place by the time he knew about it.
Hoon has told his inner circle that he is confident that the Hutton inquiry will clear him. 'The truth will set us free,' said one official close to the Defence Secretary.
'Geoff is looking forward to going before the committee. We want to be [before the inquiry] early on - we have nothing to hide and have done nothing wrong. Geoff has not and will not consider resigning because he has nothing to resign over.'
Blair has said that he does not want the departure of Campbell in the next few months to leave him exposed.
Campbell will maintain close relations with the other key players in Blair's inner circle - Sally Morgan, director of government relations, Jonathan Powell, No 10 chief of staff, and Pat McFadden, the Prime Minister's political secretary.
Campbell has told friends that he plans to quit No 10 in the autumn. But he expects still to speak to the Prime Minister every day and will launch a high-profile media career with a series of set-piece interviews and lectures.
It is unlikely that he will publish his memoirs until after Blair leaves office - at the earliest well into the next term is Labour wins the election.
He has joked with colleagues that such is the explosive nature of the diary he has kept assiduously since Blair came to a power that he 'will need a libel lawyer for every page'.
The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, will say in an interview tonight on BBC Radio 4's The Westminister Hour that Ministers, including Blair, will face a 'very real challenge' to regain the trust of the British people following the Hutton inquiry.
'If the leader is tarnished, there will be damage to the Government's credibility and popularity as a whole,' he will say.
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Blair's crucial plane briefing on Kelly
The key conversation between PM Tony Blair and reporters on his plane about how the name of the late weapons expert Dr David Kelly had been made public, took place in bizarre circumstances.
Mr Blair was in the front row of "World Traveller" - or economy - seats on his chartered British Airways 777 jet which was ferrying him round his ill-fated Far East tour
Only those journalists sat in the front row of those seats, inches from the premier, had any clear hearing of him as he came down to brief them on route from Shanghai to Hong Hong on Tuesday July 22.
The conversation, on the record as always, took place halfway through an already exhausting round-the-world trip which had turned into a macabre journey after the news first of the disappearance, then of the death, of Dr Kelly.
Mr Blair's comments on the naming of Dr Kelly took up only a few moments of a lengthy conversation, most of which was dominated by issues surrounding his visit to China and forthcoming stay in Hong Kong.
Reporters made their own notes, but as always the Prime Minister's comments were recorded on behalf of the Government by Radio Technical Services, a company specifically hired for the purpose by the Government whose operatives follow Mr Blair virtually everywhere he goes.
But even the RTS gun microphone struggled to pick up the full recording of the press briefing against the usual background aircraft noise and turbulence.
This is the transcript of the essential parts of that conversation, as it was transmitted back to London for Downing Street. The gaps are where words were inaudible, the words in brackets are inserted to try to make sense of them:
Question: In the spirit of openness, talking about... there, if the Hutton report finds that any members of your staff or your government have acted improperly, will you ensure that they have to resign?
Prime Minister: The important thing is to let the inquiry do its work and make a judgment after the inquiry has done its work.
Q: Why did you authorise the naming of David Kelly?
PM: That is completely untrue, and why again, as I say, don't you wait for the inquiry actually to find the facts, because the truth is what we should make judgments on."
Mr Blair then turns the conversation to Far East events, but is quickly dragged back to the Kelly affair.
Q: (How do you hope)... to rebuild public trust in your government?
PM: Again I think that a lot of these questions that are asked about events of the past few weeks, if we, as I said this morning, set up an inquiry, I think It should be allowed to get on with its work.
Q: But it is a general question about...
PM: Well I know, but in the end it is really to do with the issues the inquiry is going to look at.
Q: But are you saying (that nobody was)... authorised by your or by any of your staff, or by the Secretary of State for Defence to actually name David Kelly. Is that your starting point going into the inquiry?
PM: My starting point going into the inquiry is that I believe that we have acted properly throughout. There are a whole lot of questions that the inquiry will ask, and we will answer them.
But in reply to what was being said earlier, did I authorise the leaking of David Kelly's name, that is completely untrue.
Q: Inaudible. (Probably do you have confidence in Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, named in that day's Financial Times as responsible for the "naming strategy" of Dr Kelly that confirmed his name to newspapers who suggested it to the MoD press office)
PM: As I say, when anyone asks me that about a minister in my Government, of course people in my Government have my full confidence.
Q: Do you believe you will (emerge unscathed?) ...from this inquiry?
PM: Let's wait and see. But when you set up an inquiry, you can speculate forever about what the inquiry might find, but I think what is actually important once you decide to hold the inquiry is to let the inquiry do its work. But throughout everyone will want to put the question in a different way to get me to answer what might be the outcome of the inquiry, and it is not a very sensible thing to do.
Q: Why do you believe that you acted properly throughout, I don't mean to describe what happened, but are you saying that you have gone through the questions yourself and you think you know the answers. Because you said to Adam (Boulton of Sky News) in your interview that you believed in (restraint)... do you believe you know most of the answers to what the government...
PM: Why don't you just wait for the inquiry to do its work.
PM: I appreciate that, but you should just wait for the inquiry to have a look at it. There is no point in trying to drag me into speculation about what the inquiry might find, or what it might not find, or might do.
Q: But if you think you know the facts, why don't you tell us what they are?
PM: Because, Paul, (Eastham of the Daily Mail) what we have decided to, because of what has happened, is to have the inquiry, and I think we should just allow the inquiry to do its work.
Now I know you will want to get me to answer these same types of questions in all sorts of different ways, I am not going to do it, we should make sure that we let the inquiry find the facts.
Q: (Is it)... sensible for people close to you to go on and on attacking the BBC in the way they are, and isn't that actually in slight contradiction, to put it mildly, to the restraint and respect that you have...
PM: Well I haven't seen what you are referring to.
Q: ...has been giving interviews on the radio... the Observer, John Prescott has had a big go at the BBC.
PM: I have said what I have said on it.
Q: Can I Just ask you the question that... asked you, which is did you authorise anyone in Downing Street, or in the MOD, to release David Kelly's name?
PM: As I said just a moment or two ago, emphatically not. I did not authorise the leaking of the name of David Kelly.
Q: (Doesn't that leave)... Alastair Campbell in a very awkward position because we know that the Ministry of Defence did confirm the identity of David Kelly.
PM: Look, that was a completely different matter once the name was out there.
PM: The inquiry can look at all these things, and it can look across the whole range of these issues, and as I said to you a moment or two ago, I think it is sensible that they are able to do that.
Q: (You have set up an)... inquiry to find out the facts, yet you say 'I believe we acted properly throughout'...
PM: Well of course that is what I believe, but it is for the inquiry to make an objective assessment."
Questioning then turns back to China and North Korea, before returning to the issue of David Kelly.
Q: Do you have any regrets at all about what you said about the BBC yourself?
PM: I have said what I have said on that, honestly there is no point in getting me to answer further questions on it."
Mr Blair is then asked about Chinese students who asked his wife to sing a Beatles song, and commercial aspects of his visit before one reporter has a final try at asking questions on the Kelly affair.
Q: (What do you say to people)... back home because of concerns over the stability of the government, what do you have to say to these people who are concerned about the stability of your government because of this affair?
PM: Look, I think I have answered all the questions I really can answer about that.
Holding the inquiry is the right thing to do, and that is what we are going to do."
The conversation ends there. It is night on board the aircraft but only just after 11.30am in
The reporters scrabble for the few satellite phone links running out of the 777 to file their stories back to London. Nobody mentions the complications of Chinese politics or the fledgling democracy of Hong Kong.
Only the David Kelly story makes the headlines, as Mr Blair knew it would.
And with hindsight, his comments were made very carefully, knowing - as he did, but we on the aircraft did not - the full details of just how the "naming strategy" of Dr Kelly was arrived at.
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Former MI6 Agent: Kelly Murder Was 'Sloppy Work'
I received the following E mail from a Scottish journalist who works from a mainstream paper. I know his identity but he asked it not to be revealed. Suffice to say I have verified his name. It is up to the reader to discern whether the following information is accurate but it fits in with related information previously featured on this website. The E mail is edited for clarity.
I'm a reader from Glasgow, Scotland in the United Kingdom. I'm a journalist and stand-up comedian and heard some bits and pieces from a BBC reporter who was on Tony Blair's far-east tour plane following Kelly's death.
A conversation was overheard by this BBC reporter between Tony Blair and his press secretary Alistair Campbell. The conversation was heard folowing the press conference when Blair was asked if he had Dr Kelly's blood on his hands and Blair froze and didn't answer.
Campbell, a notorious ranter was heard to say: "What the fuck was that, you know the line on this, what were you doing, why didn't you answer." Blair's response was inaudible and Campbell was then heard to say: "This is what you wanted, you asked for this so play the game Tony." Since then Blair continually trotted out the line about waiting for the Inquiry before commenting.
Normally in the UK Public Inquiries take months and months before they start but this one was pushed through quickly because Tony Blair is apparantly on the verge of cracking. Campbell needs to get this over and done with ASAP and then have Chancellor Gordon Brown installed as Prime Minister before the end of the Year and give him plenty of time to get the people on his side before the 2005 elections.
Secondly a contact of mine, a former MI6 spook, was speaking about the circumstances of Kelly's death. He said he's been taught how to "make anything look like anything" and said that there must have been some kind of struggle at the scene of Kelly's death. He said it was sloppy work that Kelly's body was found with enough pills for an overdose but hadn't ingested them, he said that should have been removed from the scene under normal procedure. He added "You can slit someone's wrists and make it look like suicide easily but it's a lot harder to make someone swallow tablets." He also said the heart monitor pads found on Kelly's chest were "simply there to make sure he was dead." He also said those should have been removed and suspects the agents involved were disturbed by someone in the process of the killing.
I just thought some of this shit might have been interesting to yourselves. I'm happy to contribute occasional pieces of information every now and then but I'd rather you didn't publish my name along with anything I send you.
All the best.
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Alastair Campbell, who usually travels with Mr Blair, is not on the plane - he is on his way back to London.
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