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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 January, 2004, 19:09 GMT
Campbell says story row is over
Alastair Campbell
Mr Campbell said he was "pro-BBC"
Ex-Downing Street media chief Alastair Campbell has said everybody involved in the Iraq weapons row can now move on.

Mr Campbell, who on Wednesday called on the BBC to admit it broadcast "false" claims, said he was satisfied with the corporation's apology.

"All we have ever wanted is for these allegations to be withdrawn, they have been withdrawn, now it really is a matter for the BBC," he said.

That came after the acting BBC chairman unreservedly apologised for any errors.

Mr Campbell told BBC News 24 he had never waged an "obsessive war" on parts of the BBC.

He insisted he was "pro-BBC".

But he said: "The BBC really does have to think seriously about how it salvages its reputation and its integrity, its fairness and accurate reporting."

I care about the level of dishonest journalism
Alastair Campbell
Mr Campbell told BBC News 24 it was right for both the corporation's Chairman, Gavyn Davies, and Director General Greg Dyke to have resigned.

He was asked if Andrew Gilligan, who broadcast the claims that Downing Street had "sexed up" its Iraq weapons dossier, should also quit.

Mr Campbell said: "I don't care about Andrew Gilligan, I never have that much cared about him.

"I care about the level of dishonest journalism, I care about the level of political debate in this country."

He added: "Frankly, I think everybody, especially Dr Kelly's family, will want to move on."

'Good journalists'

Mr Campbell was cleared by Lord Hutton of BBC claims he had embellished the dossier with the 45-minute claim.

On Wednesday, Mr Campbell criticised Mr Dyke's apology and called on the BBC's director general and chairman to "face the facts" instead of basically standing by the dossier story.

Mr Campbell, an ex-political editor of the Mirror newspaper, said "if the public knew the truth about politicians, they would be pleasantly surprised".

"If the public knew the truth about the way certain sections of the media operate, they would be absolutely horrified", he added.

He said there were plenty of good journalists in the UK and it was "in the interest of everyone that the many good journalists stand up against the bad".

Alastair Campbell
"I care about the level of dishonest journalism, I care about the level of political debate in this country"

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