Monday, August 18, 2003
Day Five: An Imperfect Spy - 18th August 2003, 22.58

Nothing so melodramatic, of course. The Hutton Inquiry saw Pam Teare, the MOD's Press Chief, confirm the process by which Kelly was outed, by proving that context is all. Jonathan Powell's evidence confirmed that Blair was involved in the decsion making process that led to Dr Kelly giving evidence before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. The strategy of deflection was already in place with Hoon preparing to resign over the matter as a sacrificial minister.

The importance that Blair attached to the presentation of this crisis and the regard with which he held Hoon can be seen in the personnel attending the meeting and the willingness of No. 10 to allow the MOD to take the lead.

Giving evidence today, Downing Street chief of staff Jonathan Powell - one of Mr Blair's closest aides - described how senior officials were summoned to the Prime Minister's office on the morning of Monday 7 July.

They included the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, John Scarlett, the Cabinet Office intelligence and security co-ordinator Sir David Omand, and the Ministry of Defence permanent secretary Sir Kevin Tebbit.

They were later joined by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Downing Street communications chief Alastair Campbell, who had been at a separate meeting to discuss the report due out that morning by the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on Iraq.

Blair did ask if anyone had taken account of the strain placed upon Kelly. The reply was negative and one can guage the care with which the Ministry of Defence handled its employee, given the fact that he was given a 24 hour contact number, just in case he needed advice.


Post a Comment

Blog Archive