Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Death of David Kelly - Ann Taylor's conflict of interests

On 16th July 2003 David Kelly appeared before the Intelligence and Security Committee. The chair of the ISC was Ann Taylor MP.

See, for example, Dr Kelly’s evidence to ISC 16/07/03.

Ann Taylor also makes an appearance in the Butler Report, Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction. Not, as one might expect, as a witness but as a member of the Butler Inquiry!

Less well known, perhaps, is that Ann Taylor was uniquely given access at 08.00 on 19th September 2002 to a draft of the September 2002 dossier.

See, for example, Email: Matthew Rycroft / Alison Blackshaw 19/09/02:

The PM has asked Ann Taylor to read through the dossier in draft and give us any comments. He stressed that it was for her only and that noone else outside this building was seeing it in draft

Not withstanding the title of the preceding document on the Hutton Inquiry web site, the email was written on 18th September 2002.

Ann Taylor MP had a unique opportunity to influence the content of the September 2002 dossier.

How then could she, without impropriety, sit as a member of the Butler Inquiry to inquire into the propriety and appropriateness of a process in which she herself had taken part?

Not only may it be true, that "When you are served by a Butler, you get exactly what you asked for.". Perhaps it's also true that "When you set up an inquiry, a Government can be confident in a Taylor-made result.".


  1. What the Taylor saw.
    Impressive CV :
    UK Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (1998-2001)
    UK Official Chief Whip (1998-2001)
    UK Leader of the House of Commons (1997-98)
    Lord President of the Council (1997-98)
    Lord Privy Seal (1997-98)
    UK Member of Parliament for Dewsbury (1987-2005)
    UK Member of Parliament for Bolton West (1974-83)
    Labour Party (UK)
    Life Peerage 13-May-2005 as Baroness Taylor of Bolton
    Chair ISC 2001-2005
    Minister for Defence Procurement 2007-8
    Minister for International Defence & Security 2008-10.

    Which all leads smartly to 21 Feb 2011 (key Libyan date..) when she is appointed to the Advisory Board of Thales UK.

    "They work for you, it works or them"

  2. Liberal MP Paul Tyler, writing of Ann Taylor's appoinment to ISC Chair in the Guardian of 2 August 2001:

    "We have yet to see whether she has any interest in intelligence and security and whether having left the government so recently she has the independence of mind that is necessary.

    I would have hoped that the government would be prepared to have faced the House of Commons with this suggestion so at least we could have looked to see whether Ann Taylor has any of the necessary qualifications or experience. From her CV, she doesn't."

  3. Perhaps her experience in the murky world of the Chief Whip was deemed appropriate preparation for the murky world of "intelligence" and illegal wars.