The Kelly affair: a library of links

my extended essay on the the Kelly affair will be placed online here at some point before the Hutton inquiry resumes its proceedings on Monday 11 August.

In the meantime I have compiled a selection of links which is intended to illustrate just how many pieces of the jigsaw are already in the public domain. New links will be added from time to time.


Andrew Gilligan's original Today programme report

29 May 2003 (This is the version from the BBC website; the version on the Guardian website contains only the second half of the report and is therefore seriously misleading.)

Susan Watts's Newsnight reports

2 June and 4 June 2003

Alastair Campbell accuses the BBC of lying
25 June 2003, Campbell's evidence to the foreign affairs committee

Extract from foreign affairs committee report: Andrew Gilligan and Alastair Campbell
7 July 2003: the most relevant section of the report which deals with the 45-minute claim.

Evidence of Dr David Kelly to the foreign affairs committee
On Tuesday 15 July 2003 the foreign affairs committee reconvened to hear the evidence of Dr Kelly

Press coverage

BBC on edge of defeat

Friday 4 July: in advance of a meeting of the BBC governors arranged for Sunday, and the publication of the foreign affairs committee report on Monday, the Times reports  that the BBC is 'on the edge of defeat'. This information is said to come from unnamed 'corporation executives'.

BBC denial
4 July: In a story in the online edition of the Guardian, datelined 5pm the BBC, in the person of Richard Sambrook, denies the substance of the story which appeared in the paper earlier that same day.

'Even if the source was wrong we shouldn't apologise'
7 July: Today  programme presenter John Humphrys gives his full backing to Andrew Gilligan's report.

'The war against Gilligan is 90% confected outrage, 10% personal animus by Alastair Campbell'

8 July: Rod Liddle, a former editor of the Today programme and the man who originally hired Andrew Gilligan accuses Downing Street of confecting outrage at the BBC in order to divert attention away from the real issues concerning the decision to go to war with Iraq.

BBC plays its cards close to its chest
9 July: In a key article in the Guardian Patrick Wintour, a journalist who is known to be close to Alastair Campbell, explains the view taken of Dr David Kelly by Downing Street.

The vendetta's victim

19 July: Guardian reports the suicide of Dr Kelly

A haunted man
20 July: the Observer reports on the Kelly tragedy.

Dr Kelly: I felt betrayed when the MoD revealed my name
20 July: Nicholas Rufford writes in the Sunday Times about what Kelly said in his last interview.

A tragic death, but part of me cannot help but admire it
21 July: Novelist Tim Lott on the possible motivation of Kelly's suicide.

Who will rid us of the over-mighty Campbell?
21 July: Robert Harris, author and New Labour insider, offers his extraordinary account of the relationship between Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell.

BBC said no to truce on dossier row
21 July: The Guardian reports that the BBC tuned down the offer of a truce from Downing Street in the week before the name of Dr Kelly was put into the public domain.

Dr Kelly and the death of political life
21 July: Mick Hume writes in Spiked about the Kelly affair: 'Suicide is rarely heroic; it is far more often a cowardly way out of a crisis, and one that usually leaves behind much bitterness and anger among loved ones.'

The leak, the name. Who is to blame?
23 July: this key report in the Guardian by Ewen MacAskill, Michael White, Richard Norton-Taylor and Kevin Maguire casts some light on reports earlier in the month that the BBC was 'on the edge of defeat'.

This BBC row is not about sources - it is about power
24 July: Jackie Ashley in the Guardian on the threat to the BBC posed by Rupert Murdoch

A despicable and cowardly diversion
26 July: in this defence of Andrew Gilligan Rod Liddle returns to the theme of Downing Street's allegedly confected rage.

The fall guy
26 July: Peter Oborne, the political editor of the Spectator, on Patrick Wintour and the reasons for tracing the leaking of Kelly's name to Downing Street.

New role for Campbell as he plans exit

27 July: Writing in the Observer, Kamal Ahmed says that Tony Blair believed his
political career was hanging by a thread when news came of Dr Kelly's suicide: '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.'

Liddle's legacy
28 July: Matt Wells, media correspondent of the Guardian, offers a moderately critical account of Rod Liddle's influence on BBC journalism and the Today programme.

Every prime minister must have an Alastair Campbell
29 July:  Hugo Young, writing in the Guardian, argues that, because of the bullying power of the media, the counter-spin of the likes of Campbell is necessary in a healthy democracy.
Who was the real Dr Kelly? Innocent or serial leaker, honest victim or liar, scientist or spy?

1 August: Tom Baldwin, the Times journalist who is close to Alastair Campbell, offers his view of the Kelly affair.

Nobody blinks in high-stakes gamble between Campbell and the BBC
1 August: Baldwin again on the BBC, Rod Liddle and the Guardian.

Do shoot the messenger
1 August: Former BBC correspondent Nick Jones writes in Red Pepper on the extent of Alastair Campbell's powers.

Fair and exact
2 August: the Guardian, in a leader, suggests that the Hutton inquiry has started well: 'Some will continue to argue that he should study the broad question of how the government presented intelligence before the start of the Iraq war . . . The case for a proper inquiry into these issues remains strong. But Lord Hutton cannot take it upon himself to meet this need. The narrower the focus of his beam, the brighter the light.'

Sitting in judgement on democracy
5 August: Brendan O'Neill, writing in Spiked, takes a more sceptical view of Hutton and suggests that the elevation of law lords degrades the political process

6/7/8/9 August 2003        


Richard Webster, 2003


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