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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 January, 2004, 17:55 GMT
Dyke takes on Hutton criticisms
Greg Dyke
Greg Dyke is director general of the BBC
The BBC has accepted some of the criticisms made by Lord Hutton in his report into David Kelly's death.

Director general Greg Dyke apologised for mistakes made during a report on the Today programme but said the prime minister had not been accused of lying.

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He said the BBC would wait to comment further until after the governors met on Thursday.

However, the BBC's chairman Gavyn Davies resigned at a preliminary governors' meeting on Wednesday.

Lord Hutton criticised the BBC's editorial policy for allowing reporter Andrew Gilligan to run a story about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq on Radio 4's Today programme unchecked by editors.

He also said BBC governors had failed fully to investigate complaints made by the government following the broadcast.

A new complaints and compliance structure has been put in place under the deputy director general
Greg Dyke
In a robust statement, Mr Dyke reiterated his condolences to the family of Dr Kelly, the scientist who was found dead after he was publicly revealed to be the source of the Today report.

Public interest

Mr Dyke said: "We note Lord Hutton's criticisms of the BBC. Many of these relate to mistakes which the BBC has already acknowledged in its submissions to the inquiry for which we have already expressed regret.

"Thanks to the process of Lord Hutton's inquiry, we now know more about the evolution of the September dossier.

"The BBC does accept that certain key allegations reported by Andrew Gilligan on the Today programme on 29 May last year were wrong and we apologise for them.

"However we would point out again, that at no stage in the last eight months have we accused the prime minister of lying and have said this publicly on several occasions.

Gavyn Davies
Gavyn Davies resigned in the wake of the report
"The dossier raised issues of great public interest. Dr Kelly was a credible source.

"Provided his allegations were reported accurately, the public in a modern democracy had a right to be made aware of them. The greater part of the BBC's coverage of the dossier fulfilled this purpose.

"We've already taken steps to improve our procedures. A new complaints and compliance structure has been put in place under the deputy director general.

"We have a new set of rules for BBC journalists who wish to write for newspapers or magazines and we will be publishing revised editorial guidelines."

'Honourable tradition'

Davies resigned at 1700GMT following criticism of the governors' role in the Dr Kelly affair.

He told fellow governors: "I have been brought up to believe that you cannot choose your own referee, and that the referee's decision is final.

"There is an honourable tradition in British public life that those charged with authority at the top of an organisation should accept responsibility for what happens in that organisation.

"I am therefore writing to the prime minister today to tender my resignation as chairman of the BBC, with immediate effect."

The governors accepted his decision with "great reluctance and regret".

Greg Dyke's statement
"At no stage in the last eight months have we accused the Prime Minister of lying"

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