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Geoff Hoon, Secretary of State for Defence

As head of the key government department involved, Geoff Hoon has been under intense pressure over the way his officials handled Dr Kelly in the run up to his death.

Lord Hutton said that Ministry of Defence officials did give "some consideration" to Dr Kelly's welfare and took "some steps" to help him.

However, the MoD was "at fault" and "is to be criticised" for not telling Dr Kelly that they were going to confirm his name if a journalist suggested it.

Mr Hoon escapes censure for authorising that process as Lord Hutton said it was justifiable for ministers to have feared accusations of a cover up had they tried to keep his name secret.

Lord Hutton said the MoD was also at fault for allowing an hour and a half to elapse between Dr Kelly's name being confirmed and the scientist being told that it had.

But Lord Hutton cited mitigating circumstances, such as Dr Kelly's "intensely private nature" that meant he was "not an easy man to help or to give advice".

FULL STORY


15 October 2003: Geoff Hoon defends his Hutton evidence in an interview with Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2

KEY DOCUMENTS

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The MoD was at fault and is to be criticised for not informing Dr Kelly that its press office would confirm his name if a journalist suggested it
Lord Hutton on the MoD

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