On 29th January 2004, 39 members of the then House of Commons signed an Early Day Motion, Early Day Motion 509, deploring criticism from Rod Liddle (formerly of the BBC) of the Hutton Report as "surreal".
Here, for the record, is the full text of the EDM:
That this House calls on Mr Rod Liddle to apologise to Lord Hutton for impugning his reputation on Sky television since if the report had criticised the Government, no doubt Mr Liddle would have accepted its conclusions; notes that, the report having entirely vindicated the Government, Mr Liddle described the report as 'surreal' and that he further said that judicial enquiries always end up backing the Government; believes that this is a slur on Lord Hutton's reputation, integrity and record; calls on Mr Liddle to withdraw those comments, admit the report was independent and have the good grace to recognise its findings were based on the evidence; hopes that this report will mark a watershed in relations between politicians and the media, moving to a debate based on respect for each other's opinions and adherence to the facts; and further hopes that the rest of the media will not follow the example of Mr Liddle, who hired Mr Andrew Gilligan and was largely responsible for creating the culture of the Today Programme which was so strongly criticised by Lord Hutton.
"Lord Hutton's reputation, integrity and record" is certainly worthy of further exploration.
Laying aside indications of Blairite brown-nosing (not quite all EDM 509 names were strong supporters of the Iraq war), it is incredible that 3 of the 39 signatories had Dr Kelly sit in front of them at the 15 July FAC which, based upon the evidence they collected, reached the conclusion that Dr Kelly was most unlikely to be Gilligans's prime source and had been badly treated by the Government.ReplyDelete
Liddle defended the BBC in the Guardian 21 July 2003. Interesting piece.ReplyDelete