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photo: In a statement released by the Kelly family, they said how events over "recent weeks made David's life intolerable and all of those involved should reflect long and hard on this fact"
BREAKING NEWS From PA
Britain : last updated, July 20, 2003 00:04
PM urged to resign over Kelly death
Tony Blair is facing calls to resign over the death of David Kelly, the defence official at the centre of the Iraq dossier row. The tragic twist in the Government's battle with the BBC overshadowed the Prime Minister's latest diplomatic tour. Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith wrote to Mr Blair demanding the recall of Parliament. Dr Kelly, a 59-year-old weapons expert, bled to death after apparently slashing his wrist at a beauty spot close to his Oxfordshire home. Friends blamed the strain of being named as the probable source of BBC accusations that Alastair Campbell "sexed up" intelligence on Iraq.
Kelly warned of 'dark actors'
Weapons expert Dr David Kelly told of "many dark actors playing games" in an e-mail to a journalist hours before his suicide, it was reported on Saturday. The words appeared to refer to officials at the Ministry of Defence and UK intelligence agencies with whom he had sparred over interpretations of weapons reports, according to the New York Times. The message gave no indication that he was depressed and said he was waiting "until the end of the week" before judging how his appearance before the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee had gone.
Mandelson attacks BBC after tragedy
One of Tony Blair's closest allies has launched a fresh assault on the BBC in the wake of David Kelly's death. The Prime Minister has faced calls to resign over the suicide of the defence official at the centre of the Iraq dossier row. But former Cabinet minister Peter Mandelson blamed the BBC and its "obsession" with Alastair Campbell for the tragic twist.
Kelly's life made 'intolerable'
Dr David Kelly, the scientist at the centre of the row over the Government's Iraq dossier, said his life had been made "intolerable", his family have revealed. Dr Kelly's wife Janice, and daughters Sian, 32, and twins Rachel and Ellen, 30, issued a statement through Thames Valley Police after it was revealed the defence official died after slashing one of his wrists. The statement, read at Wantage police station in Oxfordshire by Acting Superintendent David Purnell, also said the family were "utterly devastated" by the loss and paid tribute to Dr Kelly's "integrity, honour and dedication".
The Sunday Times - Britain
July 20, 2003
Dr Kelly: I felt betrayed when the MoD revealed my name
* Family said life 'intolerable'
* Scientist died from slit wrist
DAVID KELLY felt betrayed by the leaking of his name and was put under " intolerable" pressure by being placed at the centre of the row between the government and the BBC.
The government scientist, who was found dead in a field with a slit wrist near his home on Friday, also said he was put " through the wringer" during meetings with Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials and spoke of " many dark actors playing games" .
The disclosures, made in an interview and e-mails, came as cabinet ministers privately admitted yesterday that the affair marked the biggest political crisis of Tony Blair's premiership.
In what is believed to be his last interview before he died, Kelly told The Sunday Times he had been telephoned by the MoD warning him that he would be identified the following day. " I am shocked," he said. " I was told the whole thing would be confidential."
His sense of betrayal was palpable and he felt profoundly let down by the MoD. Kelly's name was published in newspapers days after a letter naming him was sent by Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, to Gavyn Davies, chairman of the BBC.
Speaking shortly before he gave evidence to a parliamentary committee, Kelly said he was convinced he was the intelligence source quoted by the BBC in its now controversial report on evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction broadcast on May 22. " It is pretty obvious I was the source," he said.
In comments, some of which he asked to be off the record, Kelly said he was feeling the strain of weeks of pressure as the row intensified over the identity of the BBC's source.
" It has been a difficult time, as you can imagine," he said. He said " for the record" , he had not been reprimanded or pressured by the MoD, which " had been quite good about it" . But there are suggestions that Kelly feared he might lose his pension or even his job if he did not co-operate.
Last week Adam Ingram, the armed forces minister, challenged the BBC to rule the scientist out as the source, saying: " Hopefully, that would allow Dr Kelly to carry on with his career in the MoD."
Several weeks earlier an MoD source said there was a determination to identify the BBC's mole and name him in an attempt to force an apology from the corporation.
Police confirmed yesterday that the cause of Kelly's death was bleeding from a wound on his left wrist. A knife and painkiller tablets were found near his body.
There was speculation in Westminster that the affair would lead to the departure of Alastair Campbell, the prime minister's director of strategy and communications. Campbell told friends this weekend that he felt " sick" when he heard of Kelly's death. He is expected to leave Downing Street this year, but will stay until the judicial inquiry -- under Lord Hutton -- is completed.
There is growing evidence Kelly felt caught in the battle being waged by the MoD, No 10 and the BBC over the government's justification for going to war with Iraq. In an e-mail sent to an American journalist on the day he died, Kelly referred to " many dark actors playing games" . The e-mail was written hours before he told his wife he was going for a walk on Thursday.
In other messages he seemed to be looking forward to returning to Iraq. In one, Kelly wrote he would " wait until the end of the week" before judging reaction to his testimony.
In another he said: " Hopefully it will soon pass and I will get back to Baghdad and get on with the job."
A statement from Kelly's family, released yesterday, said: " Events over recent weeks have made David's life intolerable and all of those involved should reflect long and hard on this fact."
One member of his family was reported as saying he would be looking for " someone who is going to pay for this, because somewhere along the line someone needs to pay for this" .
Derek Vawdrey, the scientist's brother-in-law, said: " David put his head above the parapet and promptly got it shot off. The government was looking for someone to hang the title of mole on and David paid the ultimate price for that. He simply couldn't take the pressure."
The government said appointing Hutton, a law lord, reflected the seriousness of its desire to get to the bottom of the matter. A key issue will be how Kelly's name was made public. It is expected Campbell and other senior government figures will be called to give evidence.
An MoD spokesman said the decision to confirm Kelly's name to journalists who phoned the ministry's press office on July 9 was taken by " high-level department officials" , but not by ministers. Under Whitehall rules, civil servants are not normally identified.
Hoon defended his actions in passing Kelly's name to the BBC. He said he had written an " entirely confidential letter" to the BBC chairman. He denied the MoD had leaked Kelly's name. " I'm not aware that his name was leaked."
Richard Sambrook, the head of BBC news, has also been accused of dropping " pretty big hints" about the identity of the BBC's source to bolster the corporation's claims that the source was sufficiently senior to have been involved in the preparation of the government's intelligence dossier on Iraq.
Today, however, Vincent Nichols, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, will implicitly criticise the BBC at a service in Lichfield Cathedral. He will say: " It distresses me deeply to think there are people in positions of eminent public responsibility who know the answer to the questions Dr Kelly was being asked. Yet they remain silent, believing the confidentiality of their sources is more important. More important than one man's life? I think not."
Kelly is said to have written in confidence to his line manager on June 30, volunteering he had met Andrew Gilligan, a BBC defence correspondent.
It was said yesterday that Kelly was prompted to write by a colleague who worked for the Royal United Services Institute. The colleague had drawn Kelly's attention to the fact that parts of Gilligan's evidence to the Commons foreign affairs committee -- in which the BBC reporter discussed what his source told him -- bore close similarities to Kelly's own " turns of phrase" .
Pressure on Kelly increased when he was told he would have to appear before the Commons intelligence and security committee and the foreign affairs committee on successive days. Colleagues believed he thought he had struck a deal with the MoD to go before the intelligence committee in return for anonymity. He was anxious at the prospect of a televised appearance in front of the foreign affairs committee.
Andrew Mackinlay, a Labour member of the foreign affairs committee, apologised yesterday for his harsh questioning of Kelly during Tuesday's hearing.
Mackinlay had been accused by Tom Mangold, a former BBC correspondent and friend of Kelly, of " jeering" at him during questioning when he dismissed him as " chaff" .
As pressure mounted on the government, Blair yesterday urged people to wait for the inquiry to report before reaching any judgments. In the meantime they " should show respect and restraint" .
Glenda Jackson, the Labour MP, called for Blair, Campbell and Hoon to resign. The inquiry into Kelly's death would paralyse the government while Blair remained, she said.