ABCwatch

Tim Blair

Ombudsgod

New Criterion

 

 

Thursday, January 29, 2004
 
GREG DYKE REFUSES TO RESIGN

Instead Dyke has let his Chairman do the right thing for him, following Lord Hutton's damning verdict on the BBC.

And Australia's own mini-Beeb ignores the bad news on its early news services this morning.

Here's a bit of what Hutton found.

* the allegation reported by Mr Gilligan on 29 May 2003 that the Government probably knew that the 45 minutes claim was wrong before the Government decided to put it in the dossier, was an allegation which was unfounded.

*The allegation was also unfounded that the reason why the 45 minutes claim was not in the original draft of the dossier was because it only came from one source and the intelligence agencies did not really believe it was necessarily true.

*10 Downing Street recognised, that nothing should be stated in the dossier with which the intelligence community were not entirely happy.

*the allegations reported by Mr Gilligan that the Government probably knew that the 45 minutes claim was wrong or questionable and that it was not inserted in the first draft of the dossier because it only came from one source and the intelligence agencies did not really believe it was necessarily true, were unfounded.

*it is clear that after Mr Gilligan's broadcasts on 29 May Dr Kelly must have come to realise the gravity of the situation for which he was partly responsible by commenting on intelligence matters to him



On the Beeb's performance in particular, Hutton had this to say

*The allegations reported by Mr Gilligan on the BBC Today programme on 29 May 2003... were unfounded.

* the editorial system which the BBC permitted was defective in that Mr Gilligan was allowed to broadcast his report at 6.07am without editors having seen a script of what he was going to say and having considered whether it should be approved.

*The BBC management failed, before Mr Sambrook wrote his letter of 27 June 2003 to Mr Campbell, to make an examination of Mr Gilligan's notes on his personal organiser of his meeting with Dr Kelly to see if they supported the allegations which he had made in his broadcast at 6.07am. ...When the BBC management did look at Mr Gilligan's notes after 27 June it failed to appreciate that the notes did not fully support the most serious of the allegations which he had reported in the 6.07am broadcast, and it therefore failed to draw the attention of the Governors to the lack of support in the notes for the most serious of the allegations.

*the Governors should have recognised more fully than they did that their duty to protect the independence of the BBC was not incompatible with giving proper consideration to whether there was validity in the Government's complaints

*the Governors are to be criticised for themselves failing to make more detailed investigations into whether this allegation reported by Mr Gilligan was properly supported by his notes and for failing to give proper and adequate consideration to whether the BBC should publicly acknowledge that this very grave allegation should not have been broadcast



And did Blair's crew do poor Dr Kelly in?

*There was no dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous strategy by the Government covertly to leak Dr Kelly's name to the media.

And still Greg Dyke refuses to resign?