May 14, 2011
The editor of the BBC’s Today programme at the time of its controversial 2003 report which claimed the Government had “sexed up” an Iraqi weapons dossier said last night that evidence provided to the Iraq Inquiry by the former intelligence official Michael Laurie proved that his team had been right all along.
Kevin Marsh described Maj-Gen Laurie’s evidence as “devastating for [Alastair] Campbell”, the former Downing Street communications chief, whose furious response to the Today report led to the Hutton Inquiry and ultimately to the resignations of the BBC’s director general and chairman. “The thing that rankles with me a little bit is that I thought at the time when [the Today reporter] Andrew Gilligan came with the story was that it wasn’t just broadly correct, it was 100 per cent correct,” Mr Marsh said.
“Here’s the guy at the very top of the [Defence Intelligence Staff] saying, ‘we knew we were being pushed to find a certain bit of evidence and it was being presented in a certain way’ and that’s exactly what Andrew said in his story.”