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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 July, 2003, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
Timeline: Dr Kelly and the dossier row
A step-by-step guide to the key events leading up to Dr Kelly's death and the Hutton inquiry.

29 May: BBC defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan tells the Today programme that a senior British official has told him that the government's dossier on Iraq, published last September, was "sexed up" against the wishes of the intelligence services.

1 June: Gilligan writes in the Mail on Sunday that Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's director of communications, was responsible for inserting the claim that Iraq could deploy weapons in 45 minutes into the dossier.

4 June: John Reid claims that rogue elements within British intelligence have been briefing against the government, prompting renewed calls for an inquiry into the allegations.

19 June: Mr Gilligan tells the Commons foreign affairs committee his Today programme report was based on a conversation with a British official who was a "long-standing contact".

He describes the official as "quite closely connected with the question of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction".

25 June: Alastair Campbell vigorously denies the claims in Andrew Gilligan's story while giving evidence to the committee and demands an apology from the BBC.

26 June: Mr Campbell writes to the BBC to back up his apology demand.

27 June: The BBC rejects the calls for an apology. Mr Campbell replies, saying the BBC has "not a shred of evidence for their lie".

28 June: Mr Campbell appears on Channel 4 News to continue his calls for an apology from the BBC.

30 June: Dr Kelly is said to have informed his line manager at the Ministry of Defence that he met Andrew Gilligan on 22 May.

7 July: The foreign affairs committee report is published. It clears Mr Campbell - on the casting vote of the chairman - but says "undue prominence" was given to the 45 minute claim.

8 July: The Ministry of Defence says an official - later named as Dr David Kelly - has come forward to say he met Mr Gilligan and discussed Iraq's weapons on 22 May.

The MoD describes the meeting as "unauthorised" but says "with the individual's agreement", it intends "to give his name to the chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, in confidence, should they wish to interview him as part of their inquiry".

The BBC says in response: "The description of the individual contained in the statement does not match Mr Gilligan's source in some important ways.

"Mr Gilligan's source does not work in the Ministry of Defence and he has known the source for a number of years, not months."

Later, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon writes in confidence to Gavyn Davies, BBC chairman, asking if the BBC would confirm Dr Kelly was the source.

But Mr Davies says this is "an attempt to force" the corporation to reveal its sources which would break "cardinal" journalistic principles.

9 July: Pam Teare, the MoD's director of news, confirms Dr Kelly's name to journalists.

How this happened is not entirely clear, but according to the Guardian, reporters from the Times, the Guardian and Financial Times were told that if they came up with a name, the government would confirm it.

The Guardian says the press officer was acting under instruction from Ms Teare, who in turn was acting on behalf of Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon.

When Dr Kelly's name was published, the BBC refused to say whether or not he was Andrew Gilligan's source.

10 July: At a private meeting, the House of Commons foreign affairs committee agrees it wants to interview Dr Kelly.

15 July: Dr Kelly gives evidence to the foreign affairs committee after it reopens its inquiry. Committee members say they do not believe Dr Kelly was the source of Mr Gilligan's story and say he was badly treated by the MoD.

17 July: Mr Gilligan gives evidence to MPs for a second time. He is later criticised for not revealing his source to MPs and accused by committee chairman Donald Anderson of changing his story.

1500 BST: Dr Kelly leaves his house in Oxfordshire, saying he is going for a walk. Dr Kelly's family contact police at 2345 BST when he does not return.

0900 BST, 18 July: Thames Valley Police make a public appeal for helping in tracing Dr Kelly.

1055 BST: Police investigating Dr Kelly's disappearance say they have discovered a body, later it is identified as Dr Kelly's.

1430 BST: Downing Street says an independent judicial inquiry will be held into the circumstances of Dr Kelly's death.

19 July: A post-mortem on Dr Kelly concludes that his cause of death was haemorrhaging from a wound to his left wrist.

20 July: The BBC's director of news Richard Sambrook acknowledges that Dr Kelly was the source for Andrew Gilligan's controversial report.

1 August: The inquiry investigating Dr Kelly's death opens.

11 August: The inquiry, chaired by Lord Hutton starts taking evidence.

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