BBC TwoConspiracy Files



Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Thursday, 22 February 2007

Timeline: David Kelly

Key events in conspiracy theories leading up to and following the death of Dr David Kelly.

References mentioned in brackets in this timeline refer to evidence on the Hutton Inquiry website.


Dr David Kelly joins the Ministry of Defence (MoD).


He is involved with clearing Guinard Island of anthrax and countering the production of smallpox in Russian labs.


Dr Kelly first became involved as a technical expert in the interpretation of the disturbing data emanating from the Soviet Union, chiefly via defectors such as Vladimir Pasechnik, whom he interviewed.


Dr Kelly was senior adviser to the UN inspection agency, Unscom. When, in 1991, Unscom began its work in Iraq, Dr Kelly led the first biological weapons inspection mission.


Dr Kelly is appointed senior adviser in biological defence at Porton Down.

April, 1996

Dr Kelly is seconded to Proliferation and Arms Control Secretariat at the MoD. This was recently renamed the Directorate of Counter Proliferation and Arms Control.

January/February 2001

The Conspiracy Files
Sunday 25 February
9pm on BBC Two

David Kelly first meets Andrew Gilligan in the Charing Cross Hotel. He was interested in Dr Kelly's potential as a contact. Tom Mangold had written a book "Plague Wars" which described him: "If David Kelly were a tax inspector he would recoup Britain's entire national debt." (BBC/7/45)

5 March, 2002

Michael Williams - a special adviser at FCO - puts together a document called Iraq briefing from information which was publicly available and presents it to the Parliamentary Labour Party. It describes Saddam Hussein as a "demonstrable threat to stability of region" and argues the UN inspectors need to be sent back.

Late March, 2002

The Prime Minister commissions a dossier about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in four countries. Separately, the Cabinet Office has been producing a briefing paper on the history of the Unscom inspections. They show it to Patrick Lamb, deputy head of counter proliferation at FCO and Dr David Kelly. Patrick Lamb later tells the Hutton Inquiry that Dr Kelly was involved in the dossier in April and May. If there was a conflict between written sources and Dr Kelly's expertise they would usually go with what Dr Kelly said. This work is later included in the first draft of a dossier.

11 April, 2002

Andrew Gilligan meets Dr Kelly at the Charing Cross Hotel. The transcript of Gilligan's written note of the meeting says that "I asked him what was in it, and he said essentially not really very much that you as a relatively informed lay person would not know already. I said was that the reason it was delayed, and he said yes." (BBC/7/53)

May 2002

Andrew Gilligan meets David Kelly again at the Charing Cross Hotel.

20 June, 2002

The date of the first draft of the dossier (CAB 3/82) the Hutton Inquiry is shown. There are now three separate documents that together can be considered as the Iraq dossier:

  • A paper on Saddam's WMD (mainly drafted by Julian Miller and the assessment staff)
  • A paper on the history of UN inspections (being drafted by Patrick Lamb at the FCO with the help of Dr Kelly)
  • A paper on Saddam's human rights record (drafted by Dr Amanda Tanfield)

3 September, 2002

Tony Blair holds a press conference in Sedgefield and announces a dossier will be published within a matter of weeks.

4 September, 2002

David Kelly returns from holiday (he has been away since 10th August). The three parts of the 20 June dossier were circulated to FCO, MOD and 10 Downing Street.

9 September, 2002

The draft on the 45 minute claim has been updated from the draft of 5 September and suggests that "Iraq has probably dispersed its special weapons, including its CBW weapons. Intelligence also indicates that chemical and biological munitions could be with military units and ready for firing within 20 - 45 minutes."

Dr David Kelly is shown the dossier in the Foreign Office by Mark Peters.

10 September, 2002

Email entitled "Dossier - Iraq" (CAB 3/21)from Mark Peters to an unidentified recipient relating that he has just spoken to Dr Kelly "about the growth media" suggesting that "The existing wording is not wrong but it has a lost of spin on it." (NB The typo "lost" is generally taken to mean "lot"). The author of the email says that the phrase is his, not Dr Kelly's.

18 September, 2002

Dr Brian Jones from the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) who has been on holiday since 30 August, returns to find that the dossier is dominating his department's work. Dr Jones bumps into Dr David Kelly looking through the latest draft in the DIS office. Dr Brian Jones tells the Hutton Inquiry that he discovered that "some of his staff had said they were unhappy" with some detail in the dossier. In particular his chemical weapons expert said statements in the dossier did not accurately represent his assessment of the intelligence available to him.

19 September, 2002

Morning: Dr Kelly takes part in an hour-long DIS meeting reviewing the draft of the dossier, in the Old War Office. Dr Brian Jones chairs the meeting with another seven or eight people present. Four pages of detailed comments were made. Entitled: "Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction Dossier - Comments on Revised Draft (15 Sept 2002)". (CAB 3/79)

"Mr A" tells the Hutton Inquiry that about 12 comments were made by Dr Kelly. The DIS drafting suggestions are passed on to the JIO intelligence staff. None of them mention the 45 minutes claim.

20 September, 2002

The final draft of the dossier is sent to the printers. The title of the dossier has now changed from "Iraq's Programme of Weapons of Mass Destruction" to "Iraq and its Weapons of Mass Destruction".

24 September, 2002 1995

The dossier is published. (DOS 1/56)

25 September, 2002

In the House of Commons Dr David Kelly and Jack Straw give evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee. Later, on 13 July, 2003, Dr Kelly finds out that Mr Straw had complained he was accompanied by "somebody so junior". Mrs Kelly tells the Hutton Inquiry that her husband was "deeply, deeply hurt" by that remark.

1458: Mr A e-mails Dr Kelly. (CAB/29/15) He points out a mistake relating to the al-Qa'qa' plant: "Another example supporting our view that you and I should have been more involved in this than the spin merchants of this administration. No doubt you will have more to tell me as a result of your antics today. Let's hope it turns into tomorrow's chip wrappers ..."

27 February, 2003

Lunchtime: Mr David Broucher - the British permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva meets Dr Kelly for an hour to discuss how Mr Broucher can sell the dossier at the UN.

Dr Kelly tells him that if Iraq had any WMD there would not be very much left and says he fears the invasion will go ahead anyway and that puts him in a morally ambiguous position. Mr Broucher inferred that Dr Kelly might be concerned that he would be thought to have lied to some of his contacts in Iraq.

Mr Broucher told the Hutton Inquiry: "He said to me that there had been a lot of pressure to make the dossier as robust as possible; that every judgment in it had been closely fought over; and that it was the best that the JIC could do.

"I believe that it may have been in this connection that he then went on to explain the point about the readiness of Iraq's biological weapons, the fact they could not use them quickly, and that this was relevant to the point about 45 minutes."

And he added: "As Dr Kelly was leaving I said to him: what will happen if Iraq is invaded? And his reply was, which I took at the time to be a throw away remark, he said: "I will probably be found dead in the woods."

Mr Broucher contends the meeting was in 2003 because they talked about the 45 minute claim. However, Lord Hutton concluded the meeting must have been in 2002.

13 April, 2003

An article by Nick Rufford is published in the Sunday Times quoting David Kelly by name. The duty press officer contacts Patrick Lamb who calls Dr Kelly at home to explain that he was "very unhappy" that Dr Kelly had commented on events in Iraq "without authorisation".

7 May, 2003

Susan Watts telephones David Kelly. Dr Kelly tells her that the search for WMD will be a lengthy one unless someone "strikes it lucky". At the end of the chat they talk about the 45 minute claim. Her shorthand notes (SJW 5/19) show him saying: "it was a mistake to put in, Alistair Campbell, seeing something in there, single source but not corroborated, sounded good."

Susan Watts later tells Lord Hutton that she put this down as gossip and speculation. Dr Kelly told her his best guess as to the precision of the number "45" was that the Iraqis in 1991 had been trying to use multi-barrelled rocket launchers and these take about 45 minutes to fill.

12 May, 2003

Susan Watts talks to Dr Kelly again. (SJW 1/32)

19 May, 2003

Dr Kelly flies to Kuwait but his visa is not correct and he is searched and deported.

22 May, 2003

Dr Kelly meets Andrew Gilligan at the Charing Cross Hotel in London at around 4 or 5pm and the meeting lasts between 45 minutes and an hour. Gilligan made notes in his personal organiser. It is in abbreviations but it records: "transformed wk before pub to make it sexier the classic was the 45 mins. mst thngs inndossier wre dbl sc but that was single-source. one source said it took 4 mins to set up a missile assembly, that was misinterpreted.. most people in intel werent happy with it, because it didn't relect the considere view they were putting forward Campbell real info but unr, incl against ur wishes. Not in orig draft - dull, he asked ifanthing else cd go in". (BBC 7/57)

The accuracy of this document is later disputed at the Hutton Inquiry. Lord Hutton concludes "it is not possible to reach a definite conclusion as to what Dr Kelly said to Mr Gilligan".

29 May, 2003

David Kelly is in New York.

0607: Andrew Gilligan reports on BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "What we've been told by one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up that dossier was that actually the government probably knew that that 45 minute figure was wrong even before it decided to put it in ... Downing Street, our source says, ordered a week before publication ordered it to be sexed up to be made more exciting and ordered more facts to be discovered". (BBC 1/004)

About 0715: Today get call from Downing Street rebutting the story: "not one word of the dossier was not entirely the word of the intelligence agencies". (BBC4/238)

30 May, 2003

Dr Kelly telephones Susan Watts, who tapes the call. (SJW 1/38 is a transcript Susan Watts prepares for the Inquiry.) She asks him about the 45 claim. Dr Kelly says "I think you know my views on that ... They were desperate for information. They were pushing hard for information which could be released. That was one which popped up and it was seized on and it was unfortunate that it was. Which is why there is the argument between the intelligence services and No 10. Because things were picked up on and once they've picked up on it you can't pull it back."

Dr Kelly says he did not write the 45 minute section but explains that "I reviewed the whole thing ..."

In the following weeks the media and the Government made strenuous attempts to identify Gilligan's unnamed source identified as "one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up that dossier".

2 June, 2003

Tony Blair, in Evian for the G8 Summit, says he stands fully behind the evidence he presented to the public on WMD and rejects calls for a public inquiry.

2230: Susan Watts reports on BBC Newsnight of a conversation she has had with "a senior official intimately involved with the process of pulling together the original September dossier".

She says that the "source made clear that in the run up to publishing the dossier the Government was obsessed with finding intelligence on immediate Iraqi threats". And the source is quoted: "They were desperate for information which could be released. That (45 mins) was one that popped up and it was seized on and its unfortunate that it was". That's why there is the argument between the intelligence services and ... No 10 because they picked up on it and ... you can't pull them back from it." (SJW 1/50)

3, June 2003

John Reid MP, the leader of the House of Commons, says "rogue elements" in the security services are responsible for spreading falsehoods about alleged attempts by Downing Street to harden intelligence service reports.

Dr Kelly talks to former Iraq arms inspector and fellow of Chatham House Olivia Bosch. He mentions he was concerned that some of the people he was having to deal with in the intelligence community did not seem to appreciate or recognise that intelligence was not an exact science.

5 June, 2003

Dr Kelly leaves for Iraq until the 11th June. Janice Kelly tells the Hutton Inquiry: "He was very much impounded within a presidential palace, along with some US military people. He was sleeping on a floor with no electricity, stagnant water from the lakes outside, 40-degrees plus. It was very difficult for him from a physical point of view."

11 June, 2003

Dr Kelly returns from Iraq. Soon afterwards he goes off to give a lecture at John Hopkins, Baltimore. He visits the USA for a week according to Olivia Bosch.

17 June, 2003

Patrick Lamb talks to Martin Howard at a reception about the fact that Dr Kelly had spoken to Mr Gilligan. This is passed on to Sir Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence.

18 June, 2003

Martin Howard goes to Sir Kevin Tebbit's office and tells him that Dr Kelly has spoken to Andrew Gilligan in the past. He agrees with Martin Howard that there should be a discussion with Dr Kelly to establish the facts.

25 June, 2003

Alastair Campbell gives evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee: "... in relation to that 45-minute point. It is completely and totally untrue. It is - I don't use this word lightly - it is actually a lie. I simply say, in relation to the BBC story, it is a lie ... that is continually repeated, and until we get an apology for it I will keep making sure that parliament and people like yourselves know that it was a lie."

30 June, 2003

Dr Kelly writes to his line manager at the Ministry of Defence that he met Andrew Gilligan on 22 May. The MoD receives it on 3rd July: "I met with Gilligan in London on May 22nd for 45 minutes in the evening to privately discuss his Iraq experiences and definitely not to discuss the dossier." (MoD 1/19)

2 July, 2003

Dr Kelly goes on a course to RAF Honington in Suffolk. It is part of routine pre-deployment training for going to Iraq.

3 July, 2003

Dr Wells at the MoD receives Dr Kelly's letter and in the afternoon shows it to Sir Kevin Tebbit.

4 July, 2003

1130 - 1315: Dr Kelly interviewed by the MoD head of personnel, Richard Hatfield. Dr Kelly's line manager, Dr Bryan Wells takes notes. Mr Hatfield's interview notes (MoD 1/24) say that Dr Kelly is warned that his letter of 30 June has serious implications, and that he has breached normal standards of behaviour by unauthorised contact with journalists. Dr Kelly is warned that "it might become necessary to consider a public statement based on his account ... any further breaches would be almost certain to lead to disciplinary action and the possibility of disciplinary action could of course be re-opened if further facts came to light that called his account and assurances into question".

1800: Downing Street chief of staff Jonathan Powell says he joined a meeting in Sir David Manning's office - the PM's foreign affairs and defence adviser - with Sir David Omand, security and intelligence co-ordinator at the Cabinet Office and JIC chairman Sir John Scarlett where they are told that David Kelly had come forward to say he had spoken to Andrew Gilligan.

Sir Kevin Tebbit sends a letter to Downing Street with more details. (MoD 1/34) Dr Kelly is not named in the letter, which notes that the individual is adamant he is not the source. The letter concludes saying that MOD rules have been breached but there is no reason to suspect a breach of Official Secrets Act - "...discipline is being reinforced". The letter is later faxed to Tony Blair at Chequers.

5 July, 2003

The Times (Tom Baldwin at CAB 1/487) describes the source as more of an inspector than an intelligence officer, and reports the BBC hinting that their source is in Iraq which is why they have had difficulty reaching him to ask supplementary questions. This triggers a second letter from Sir Kevin Tebbit to Sir David Omand. (MoD 1/38) Dr Kelly had recently arrived back from Iraq. Sir Kevin Tebbit is told that a member of DIS has said "they have all but named Kelly".

6 July, 2003

Sir David Omand writes to Sir Kevin Tebbit. (MoD 1/41) "The Prime Minister asked for a deeper analysis of what the official has actually said, read against the account Gilligan himself has given the FAC."

Sir Kevin Tebbit tells the MoD personnel director that he might have to talk to Dr Kelly again - based on the new information in the Times article, which makes it clearer that the source was an inspector rather than an intelligence officer.

Dr Kelly sets off by car for RAF Honington in Suffolk.

7 July, 2003

Morning: Sir John Scarlett writes to Sir David Omand (dictated letter CAB 1/46) stating that he agrees with Sir Kevin Tebbit's letter written on Saturday that the finger is now pointing at Dr Kelly as Andrew Gilligan's source.

"Conclusion: Kelly needs a proper security style interview in which all these inconsistencies are thrashed out. Until we have the full story, we cannot decide what action to take. I think this is rather urgent. Happy to discuss."

0900 onwards: There is a rolling meeting at Downing Street including Sir David Omand, Sir Kevin Tebbit, Sir John Scarlett, David Manning, and Nigel Sheinwald. The Prime Minister joins the meeting.

Another meeting takes place in Alastair Campbell's office with Jack Straw and various officials talking about the FAC report and the Government's response to it. People go back and forward between the two meetings. No minutes were taken.

0930: The two meetings eventually merge in PM's office. (Sir John Scarlett's aide memoire CAB 11/3) Sir Kevin Tebbit tells the Prime Minister that Dr Kelly might have "uncomfortable views about specific items on which he had views" if he did give evidence before the FAC, because Dr Kelly has told them he doesn't know of any Iraqi systems that could be readied in 45 minutes. Jack Straw reminded the meeting that Dr Kelly had employment rights. The PM said the MoD should continue to handle this according to Civil Service procedures. It is agreed that Dr Kelly should be called back from RAF Honington to be re-interviewed.

MoD redrafts a press statement which is then sent to Downing Street. (MoD 17/2)It states the individual is not one of the "senior officials" in charge of drawing up the dossier, and not in the intelligence services.

Later at Downing Street a paragraph is added which provides details about Dr Kelly's identity: "The individual is an expert on WMD who has advised ministers on WMD and whose contribution to the dossier of Sept 2002 was to contribute towards drafts of historical accounts."

The Foreign Affairs Committee publish its report "The Decision to Go to War in Iraq" which says "no substantiated evidence has been put before us that a senior intelligence official dissented from the contents of the dossier: indeed, the bulk of the evidence is the contrary." And that ministers did not mislead Parliament but that "the language used in the September dossier was in places more assertive than that traditionally used in intelligence documents."

1600: Dr Kelly's second MoD interview. (Report of the interview MoD 1/54) Present are head of personnel, Richard Hatfield and line manager, Bryan Wells. Dr Kelly still maintains he is not the source. Mr Hatfield notes: "I said I did not think it would be necessary to reveal his name or to go into detail beyond indicating that the account given to us did not match Gilligan's FAC account, at least initially. It was, however quite likely that his name would come out in due course ... (and) the FAC might seek to call him as a witness."

Dr Kelly is shown and agrees a draft press release which does not name him. (MoD 1/67) Mr Hatfield explains it is an emergency release, to be used only if required. Dr Kelly returns to RAF Honington for training related to deployment to Iraq.

1800: Alastair Campbell speaks to Geoff Hoon on the telephone and suggests that name of source be given to a newspaper. But the Hutton Inquiry heard that the idea was rejected by Geoff Hoon and the PM's two official spokesmen Godric Smith and Tom Kelly.

Dr Kelly talks to Olivia Bosch who later recounts that he says he is resigned to his name coming out at some point.

8 July, 2003

An article by Tom Baldwin in The Times (MoD 4/4) concludes that "Some executives have hinted that he may be in Iraq searching for WMD. Such loose talk at the BBC has convinced Downing Street that he is not a member of the Intelligence Services and was not involved in drafting the report but more likely is a WMD specialist at the Foreign Office".

0807: Q&A material on Dr Kelly sent to Sir Kevin Tebbit by Pam Teare for approval. (CAB 21/5)

0830: Richard Hatfield talks to Dr Kelly at RAF Honington asking him to carry on with the training course. Martin Howard writes internal minutes to Sir Kevin Tebbit about the second interview. He says he told Dr Kelly that "I did not think it would be necessary to reveal his name ... however it was quite likely that his name would come out not least because speculation about the nature of the source might lead in his direction." (MoD 1/54)

Martin Howard also writes to John Scarlett (CAB 1/77) noting that Dr Kelly thought the September dossier a "fair reflection of open source information" and that Dr Kelly has never tried to undermine Government policy because "he was personally sympathetic to the war because he recognised from a decade's work the menace of Iraq's ability to further develop a non-conventional weapons programme. He feels no unease about the dossier because it is completely coincident with his personal views on Iraq's unconventional weapons capability."

On the 45 minutes issue Mr Howard says that Dr Kelly's line is that he had not seen the intelligence and that he "is not familiar with an Iraqi weapons system that matches that sort of timescale."

1130 - 1220: Sir David Omand, Sir David Manning, Sir John Scarlett, Alastair Campbell, Tom Kelly and Jonathan Powell meet in the Prime Minister's office. (Sir John Scarlett's aide memoire CAB 11/4) Sir David Omand reports back on Dr Kelly's second interview. They are beginning to think Dr Kelly was the main source for Andrew Gilligan's story but that Gilligan had embellished it.

They decide they have no option but to make it public that someone had come forward. They are told Dr Kelly did not expect to remain anonymous and that the MoD had discussed this with Dr Kelly. They conclude that as this is relevant to both the FAC and the ISC it was difficult to see how that fact could not be communicated given its relevance to the proceedings.

They were also worried that they would be accused of a cover up if they did not furnish Kelly's name to the FAC. Sir David Omand says he should write to the chair of ISC, Ann Taylor and pass on the fact someone had come forward but not the name. They might copy letter to FAC too.

Sir David Omand has also had a letter (MoD 1/62) from the permanent secretary at the FCO, Michael Jay which confirms that David Kelly had a role in drafting part 2 of the September dossier.

In a meeting around lunchtime Sir Kevin Tebbit approves the Question and Answer for use when journalists ring. It reads:

  • "What is his name and current post?
  • "We wouldn't normally volunteer a name. (If the correct name is given, we can confirm it and say that he is senior adviser to the Proliferation and Arms Control Secretariat).
  • 1330 - 1430: The Prime Minister meets with Jonathan Powell, John Scarlett, Alastair Campbell, Godric Smith and Tom Kelly to discuss a draft letter to ISC. They hear that the ISC which meets in private would not welcome a public letter but they would have no objection to a press release which said whether or not the individual is willing to be interviewed by the ISC.

    1635: Draft press release (CAB 1/56) is saved on Godric Smith's computer at Downing Street. The press release is pulled together from all the various versions at a meeting of what Lord Hutton described later as a "stellar cast" including Alastair Campbell, Sir Kevin Tebbit, Tom Kelly, Godric Smith, Jonathan Powell and Sir John Scarlett.

    Around 1630: Richard Hatfield, MoD personnel director says he speaks to Dr Kelly on the phone at RAF Honington, clearing with him the statement that was about to be made.

    1755: The MoD releases a press statement saying an individual has come forward saying he met Andrew Gilligan on 22 May. (MoD 1/67) "The individual is an expert on WMD who has advised ministers on WMD and whose contribution to the dossier of September 2002 was to contribute towards drafts of historical accounts of UN inspections. He is not 'one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up the dossier'. He is not a member of the intelligence services or the defence intelligence staff."

    He says that when Mr Gilligan asked about the role of Alastair Campbell with regard to the 45 minute issue, he made no comment and explained that he was not involved in the process of drawing up the intelligence parts of the dossier."

    He says he made no other comment about Mr Campbell. When Mr Gilligan asked him why the 45 minute point was in the dossier, he says he commented that it was 'probably for impact'. He says he did not see the 45 minute intelligence report on which it was based. He has said that, as an expert in the field, he believes Saddam Hussein possessed WMD," it added.

    1900: Dr Kelly arrives home from RAF Honington and has a meal with Janice and watches the news. The main story is that a source has come forward. Dr Kelly immediately says "It's me." Janice Kelly says he was "desperately unhappy about it ... He mentioned he had had a reprimand at that stage from the MoD but they had not been unsupportive ... I deliberately at that point said: would it mean a pension problem, would it mean you having to leave your job? He said it could be if it got worse, yes."

    2000: The BBC 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." (CAB 1/0502)

    Dr Brian Jones writes to Martin Howard about his concerns about the suggestion of the Foreign Secretary at the FAC that there were no complaints from members of the security and intelligence services about the content of the September dossier. Dr Jones points out that he had complained formally and asks for advice. (MOD 4/11)

    9 July, 2003

    The Telegraph says that the BBC has admitted that Andrew Gilligan met his contact at a central London hotel on 22 May.

    The Independent reports: "The MoD said that the middle-ranking official met Mr Gilligan ... the official was an expert on weapons of mass destruction who had advised ministers on the issue and had contributed towards drafts of the historical accounts of UN inspections."

    Dr Kelly was supposed to be going to London but he stays at home working in the garden.

    1545: Tom Kelly, from the No 10 press office, briefs lobby journalists with details about the source's background, without naming him. He says the person was a technical expert who has worked for a variety of departments including the MoD for whom they still work with their salary paid by another department. (CAB/1/220)

    At some point someone tells Richard Norton Taylor of the Guardian that the source has been an Unscom inspector. There had only been about 10 Brits on the Unscom team. A Google search of Britain+inspector+Unscom yields Dr Kelly's name.

    1710: Dr Kelly gets call from Mr Hatfield. Mr Hatfield says he is under no illusions that Dr Kelly knows his name is going to come out.

    1730: Pam Teare says that Chris Adams at the Financial Times is the first to get the name right. He has fed a series of key words into Google. On the second go at this sort of thing, up pops a reference to which produced a document that mentioned Dr Kelly. The description matches the information given by Downing Street in the briefing. It takes him only a few minutes.

    Chris Adams speaks to Pam Teare who confirms it. The Guardian gave three names to the MoD press office, which confirmed the last one, Dr Kelly. The Times put 20 names to the MoD and then tried Dr Kelly - their 21st go - which was confirmed. According to the Guardian, one journalist offered to run through a government telephone directory to find the name.

    Richard Hatfield, MoD personnel director writes formally to Dr Kelly and states that no formal disciplinary proceedings would be initiated. But Mr Hatfield wrote: "You should, however, understand that any further breach of departmental guidelines in dealing with the media would almost certainly result in disciplinary action, with potentially serious consequences." (MoD 1/69)This letter is found, unopened in Kelly's study after he died.

    1900: Two quick phone calls from Brian Wells, who is on a train, to Dr Kelly confirm to him the press have got hold of his name. (MoD 45/0002 is the phone log record)

    1930: Sunday Times reporter Nick Rufford arrives on Kelly's doorstep. David Kelly and Janice are in the garden after dinner. Janice says that no journalist had just turned up before. Conversation lasted about four minutes. Later David Kelly tells her that Nick Rufford had told him "the press are on their way in droves". They consider going to the South West of England where they have a house they can use as a refuge.

    Nick Rufford later tells the Hutton Inquiry that he asked him what sort of advice they have given him and Dr Kelly says no advice has been given. He asks about the meeting with Andrew Gilligan and Dr Kelly says: "I talked to him about the factual stuff. The rest is bullshit". About the MOD - he gives an on the record comment: "They've been pretty good about it." Off the record he says: "I've been put through the wringer." Nick Rufford asks him if he knew his name would come out. Dr Kelly says: "I am a bit shocked. I was told it was all going to be confidential."

    Just before 8pm Bryan Wells calls again and reconfirms that the press have got hold of Kelly's name.

    2000: Dr Kelly rings MoD chief press officer Kate Wilson. She says she had been meaning to ring him. She wants to send a press officer (Howard Rhodes) down to his house. Afterwards they pack and leave within 10 minutes. David Kelly stops off at the Coach and Horses pub and leaves a message for the manager that he is going away for a few days because "the press are about to pounce."

    They drive down the road towards the M4. Olivia Bosch rings on his mobile. She recounted to the Inquiry that Dr Kelly said he had to "cut and run".

    Q. Did he say why he had cut and run?
    A. Yes, he said that he was advised that he should go because the press were coming to his house and that he would have to be leaving his home.
    Q: Did he say anything about being offered somewhere to go or not?
    A. Yes, he said he had meetings in the MoD about the situation and that, if I recall, he had been given - he was kind of quiet and he said -- a reprimand and they even -- there was something to the effect about his pension and his clearance might be affected. He had been with his wife. He had been offered like a safe house but he did not want to take that up.

    At about 2100 they arrive at Weston-Super-Mare and pulled into a hotel for the night. Dr Kelly rings Bryan Wells, line manager at the MoD, to say he was travelling to the West Country.

    2340: Dr Kelly named on the Press Association's newswire.

    10 July, 2003

    Newspapers name David Kelly in print.

    In Weston-Super-Mare, Janice and David Kelly read the Times over breakfast, and Janice later describes that he was hurt by the article which named him and described him as a "middle ranking official". They continue to Cornwall after breakfast. Dr Kelly stops at Mr A's house in Swindon to give him some medicine he has for him from RAF Honington.

    0900: Richard Scott of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory gets a call from Dr Kelly. Dr Kelly was supposed to be meeting him that day but says he cannot come because of the press reports. Scott was his line manager as regards his salary etc. Scott says the DSTL are there to provide pastoral care.

    1000: At a private meeting, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee agrees it wants to interview Dr Kelly and a letter is written requesting he gives evidence in public.

    The Intelligence and Security committee also asks Dr Kelly to give evidence.

    Lunchtime: Janice and David Kelly in Cornwall. "He seemed more upset at that stage and very tense. I could not comfort him. He seemed to withdraw into himself completely," she said.

    Sir Kevin Tebbit writes to Geoff Hoon with the MoD's recommendations suggesting David Kelly should give evidence to the ISC but not to the FAC which was due to finish shortly. They want to avoid two hearings "to show some regard for the man himself. He has come forward voluntarily, is not used to being thrust into the public eye, and is not on trial." But adds that the ISC might be prepared to hold an unprecedented public hearing.

    Geoff Hoon rejects this advice (MOD 1/77) and says that it is not possible to do only the ISC and not the FAC. "Presentationally, it would be difficult to defend a position in which the Government had objected to Dr Kelly appearing before a Committee of the House which takes evidence in public in favour of an appointed Committee which meets in private." And concludes that they should agree to the FAC's request.

    Geoff Hoon writes to Donald Anderson MP giving permission for a limited evidence session with Dr Kelly about evidence given by "Andrew Gilligan and not on the wider issue of Iraqi WMD and the preparation of the Dossier." (MOD 1/82)

    1450: Jonathan Powell e-mails the Prime Minister's official spokesman, Tom Kelly, in response to the Committees wanting to interview Kelly. "Tried PM out on Kelly before the FAC and ISC next Tuesday. He thought he probably had to do both but need to be properly prepared beforehand. I passed this on to the MoD". (CAB 1/93)

    The PM later explains he thought it would be difficult to justify refusing to send him before the FAC. He thinks he should be briefed beforehand by a team much in the same way the PM is briefed before he goes in front of the liaison committee.

    1452: Tom Kelly writes an e-mail to Jonathan Powell. "This is now a game of chicken with the Beeb - the only way they will shift is they see the screw tightening." (CAB 1/93)

    Janice and David Kelly stay in Mevagissey, Cornwall at a friend's holiday home

    11 July, 2003

    Janice and Kelly go round the Lost Gardens of Heligan. He takes calls from several people from the MoD telling him that he will have to give evidence before the Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday and the ISC the next day. Bryan Wells tells him the FAC will be televised. According to Janice, David "went ballistic".

    12 July, 2003

    Janice and David Kelly are in Cornwall. They go to the Eden Project and later to the beach. Later Janice says: "I have never, in all the Russian visits and all the difficulties he had in Iraq, where he had lots of discomforts, lots of horrors, guns pointing at him, munitions left lying around, I had never known him to be as unhappy as he was then."

    13 July, 2003

    David Kelly drives to see his daughter Rachel in Oxford. They set off from Cornwall by car at about 1100 and arrive in Oxford at 1730.

    David Kelly is angered by what is billed as a full interview with Nick Rufford in The Sunday Times. Dr Kelly tries to phone Bryan Wells to correct the impression he had been talking to the press.

    14 July, 2003

    In the afternoon Dr Kelly is briefed by Deputy Chief Defence Intelligence Martin Howard before his evidence to the FAC. A memo (CAB 1/106) suggests that at a meeting that morning it was agreed that Howard will "strongly recommend that Kelly is not drawn on his assessment of the dossier (but stick to what he told Gilligan)". At the Hutton Inquiry it is suggested that Dr Kelly was apparently feeling the pressure. Mr Howard says that by the end of his meeting with Dr Kelly he was content to go into the FAC on his own. Wing Commander Clark and Kate Wilson would go with him and sit behind him.

    1425: Andrew Gilligan sends an e-mail to the Lib Dem researcher Greg Simpson (BBC 13/41) it contains a list of questions he thinks FAC Lib Dem member David Chidgey MP should ask Dr Kelly the next day (FAC 6/2), including one about the BBC reporter Susan Watts who he says Dr Kelly has spoken to.

    1530: Dr Kelly talks to Patrick Lamb by phone and seeks reassurance about his pension. Mr Lamb later says that Dr Kelly is obviously feeling the strain.

    15 July, 2003

    The Kelly's 36th wedding anniversary.

    Dr Kelly gives evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. Dr Kelly's sister tells the Hutton Inquiry that David Kelly had thought the ISC would be first and that would be at the Cabinet Office. He is taken to Downing Street and then someone comes in and says that they have to go straight to Parliament for the FAC. There is a bomb alert so they go on foot in the heat.

    Dr Kelly appears on his own. Sir Kevin Tebbit later tells the Hutton Inquiry that Dr Kelly was offered the option of others sitting alongside him for support but he refused.

    Dr Kelly insists he could not be the "main source" of the BBC story. He said yesterday that he had only met Mr Gilligan twice before, once in September 2002 and the hotel meeting in February. He insisted he had no knowledge of the final drafting of the dossier, insisting that his role in preparing the September dossier on Saddam's weapons of mass destruction was limited to writing a historical section on weapons inspectors and concealment by the Iraqi regime three months before it was published. Dr Kelly also said he did not believe the dossier was transformed by Alastair Campbell.

    David Chidgey asks him about Susan Watts: "I understand from Ms Watts that this is the record of a meeting you had with her. Do you still agree with those comments?" Andrew Mackinlay asks Dr Kelly if he thinks he is a "fall guy" or "chaff" as he puts it.

    Afterwards the Committee say they do not think Dr Kelly is the source. In a statement following the special session, the committee was scathing about the Government's handling of Dr Kelly, saying he had been "poorly treated" by the Defence Minister. They write to the Government to this effect. (MoD 1/89)

    The MoD defended its treatment of Dr Kelly and renewed its assertion that he was Mr Gilligan's sole source. "If Dr Kelly is not the source, why does the BBC not say so now? The BBC has the opportunity to clear up this issue. Their silence is suspicious," it said in a statement.

    Pam Teare said she asked Kate Wilson to be with him because there would be a lot of media there. She also drafted a press release (MoD 1/90) rebutting the FAC view that Kelly had been badly treated by the MoD. "Says that he has been properly treated in accordance with departmental procedures. He has expressed no complaint."

    The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary give evidence in private to the Intelligence Committee. The ISC, chaired by Ann Taylor, has been given access to more than 30 joint intelligence committee papers

    Dr Kelly talks on phone to Olivia Bosch. About the first thing he says is that he was thrown by the Susan Watts question from David Chidgey.

    16 July, 2003

    David Kelly gives evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee. He says he thinks the 45 minutes claim was there for impact but says he is unaware of the intelligence behind it. He says the dossier is a "fair reflection of the intelligence that was available and it's presented in a very sober and factual way," and he doesn't think it was transformed. (ISC 1/10)

    Dr Kelly returns to Oxfordshire. Janice Kelly returns from Cornwall by train. They go back to Rachel Kelly's house. Janice later describes David as "sort of used up".

    17 July, 2003

    0830: David and Janice Kelly get up a little later than normal. Dr Kelly says he has a report to write in his study.

    Tony Blair flies to Washington for a historic address to both Houses of Congress and to receive the Congressional medal where he says: "Can we be sure that terrorism and WMD will join together? If we are wrong, we will have destroyed a threat that, at its least is responsible for inhuman carnage and suffering. That is something I am confident history will forgive. But if our critics are wrong and we do not act, then we will have hesitated in face of this menace, when we should have given leadership. That is something history will not forgive."

    1045: Dr Kelly calls Olivia Bosch asking for help with the name of a journalist. She later says he sounds unlike himself.

    1117: Dr Kelly responds to an e-mail from Alastair Hay. "Many thanks for your support. Hopefully it will soon pass and I can get to Baghdad and get on with the real job."

    In other messages he seems to be looking forward to returning to Iraq. But he also sends an e-mail to the New York Times reporter Judith Miller referring to "many dark actors playing games".

    1230: Dr Kelly goes to sit in the sitting room on his own.

    1520: Dr Kelly tells his wife he is going out for a walk.

    2345: One of his daughters calls the police to report her father missing.

    18 July, 2003

    0000: Policemen give the Kelly family a missing persons form. A helicopter is called in from RAF Benson. Tracker dogs arrive.

    0300: A large vehicle with a 45ft communications mast turns up and parks in their garden.

    0920: David Kelly's body is found at Harrowdown Hill close to his home. Lord Hutton is appointed to conduct an inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly. His terms of reference are: "urgently to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly."

    The Prime Minister describes Dr Kelly's death as "an absolutely terrible tragedy" and adds that there is now "going to be a due process and a proper and independent inquiry and I believe that should be allowed to establish the facts."

    19 July, 2003

    Tony Blair gives a press conference in Japan and insists there will be an inquiry: "I think what is important now is that there is some due process and the reason for having an inquiry and I think people would have expected us to have one because of the tragedy that's occurred is so that the facts can be established." Mr Blair refuses to respond to a Daily Mail reporter who asks "Have you got blood on your hands, Prime Minister?"

    A post mortem report written by Dr Nicolas Hunt - a Home Office accredited pathologist - says the main reason for death was an "incised wound in the left wrist". The watch and his spectacles had been removed which Dr Hunt says suggests self harm. He notes that Dr Kelly had heart disease.

    There were four electrocardiogram pads on his chest, which were later discovered to have been put their by ambulance men.

    20 July, 2003

    Derek Vawdrey, the scientist's brother-in-law, said Dr Kelly had been treated "in a bullying way by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee." He added: "It is my opinion that that is what directly led to his suicide.

    Stephen Macdonald, assistant director of Budget, Security and Safety at the MoD gets a call from the director of Security and Safety, who tells him that a burn bag had been found at the MoD - a paper sack which contains security documents for burning. This had been left out - a security breach - rather than being locked away. The MoD police had been called because one of the names on the piece of paper inside was Dr Kelly's. (MoD 23/9)

    1130: The BBC releases a statement saying that Dr Kelly was a source for Andrew Gilligan and Susan Watts. (BBC 17/087)

    21 July, 2003

    Inquest opened by the Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner and adjourned.

    1100: Lobby briefing: Downing Street denies that it had ordered the assassination of Dr David Kelly as conspiracy theories about his death began to circulate. The issue was raised by a Middle Eastern journalist at lobby briefing. At one point the BBC political editor Andrew Marr asked point blank: "Did you assassinate him?" The reply from Mr Blair's official spokesman, Tom Kelly, was short and direct: "I would simply say, categorically no."

    22 July, 2003

    On the plane heading for Hong Kong, Tony Blair is asked by journalists if he had authorised the leak of Dr Kelly's name said: "That's completely untrue." Mr Blair, who insisted he believed the government had acted properly throughout, echoed a denial made by his Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, on Saturday: "I am not aware that his name was leaked. It was certainly not leaked by me and I assure you that we made great efforts to ensure Dr Kelly's anonymity."

    According to the Times when asked about why he had authorised the naming of Dr Kelly Tony Blair said: "That's completely untrue ... That is emphatically not the case," and he added. "I did not authorise the leaking of the name of Dr Kelly. I believe we have acted properly throughout."

    23 July, 2003

    Geoff Hoon visits David Kelly's widow at her request.

    24, July, 2003

    Lord Hutton holds the preliminary hearing of his Inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice but decides the other hearings will be in public but not on camera.

    25 July, 2003

    David Kelly's body is released by the coroner to funeral undertakers.

    MoD release a statement insisting they treated Dr Kelly well. "The MoD did not threaten Dr Kelly's pension, nor did it threaten him with action under the Official Secrets Act. Dr Kelly was interviewed twice. On each occasion the interview was conducted by MoD officials from the direct line management and personnel chain. Dr Kelly did not spend time in a Government safe house."

    26 July, 2003

    Lord Hutton has a private meeting with Janice Kelly and immediate family members which lasts an hour. He is accompanied by James Dingemans QC, senior counsel to the Inquiry.

    1 August, 2003

    Lord Hutton holds a preliminary sitting of his Inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice. Lord Hutton makes his opening statement and rejects an application for the proceedings to be televised.

    4 August, 2003

    The Independent newspaper quotes a suggestion that "Downing Street would seek to defend itself over the death of David Kelly by portraying the scientist as a 'Walter Mitty' character who exaggerated his own role in the Government's intelligence case against Iraq."

    The text of the report quotes a "Whitehall" source. The source is later revealed to be the Prime Minister's official spokesman, Tom Kelly, who states that "I deeply regret what I thought was a private conversation with a journalist last week has led to further public controversy." (CAB 16/2)

    Later Mrs Kelly tells Lord Hutton that her husband was no Walter Mitty. "He did not boast at all and he was very factual and that is what he felt his job was. That is what he tried always to be, to be factual".

    6 August, 2003

    Dr David Kelly's funeral is held at St Mary's Church, Longworth, near Farringdon in Oxfordshire.

    11 August, 2003

    Nicholas Gardiner meets officials at the Department of Constitutional Affairs in London. Lord Hutton begins hearing evidence from witnesses.

    14 August, 2003

    A further hearing is held in the inquest into David Kelly's death by the Oxfordshire coroner, Nicholas Gardiner. The inquest was then adjourned and not completed. Instead Lord Hutton's Inquiry took over the task of investigating Dr Kelly's death.

    18 August, 2003

    Dr Kelly's death certificate registered.

    28 January, 2004

    Lord Hutton publishes his "Report of the Inquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Dr David Kelly".

    16 March, 2004

    The Oxfordshire coroner, Nicholas Gardiner, holds a 14-minute hearing to consider whether to reopen the inquest into Dr David Kelly's death. Mr Gardiner decides against reconvening his inquest.

    David Kelly: The Conspiracy Files will be broadcast on Sunday, 25 February 2007 at 2100 GMT on BBC Two.


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