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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 July, 2004, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
John Scarlett: 'Should keep job'
Find out what Lord Butler said about key issues and people by using the links below:

The 45-minute claim


Tony Blair's style of government

John Scarlett
JIC chairman

The Niger uranium claim

Lord Goldsmith
Attorney General

John Scarlett

Former Joint Intelligence Committee chairman John Scarlett should keep his job as the head of MI6, the Butler Iraq intelligence inquiry has stated.

Former Cabinet secretary Lord Butler's team acknowledged its report would lead to calls for the man responsible for overseeing the production of the government's September 2002 dossier to resign.

But it had a "high regard for his abilities and his record", and "greatly hoped" he would continue to lead Britain's secret intelligence service.

The inquiry found no evidence of "deliberate distortion or culpable negligence" by the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC).

Lord Butler said it was a "serious failing" the dossier had not contained warnings and caveats about intelligence known to the JIC.

But Mr Scarlett should not be punished for "collective" failures that had not been his "personal responsibility".

However, the report says there is a "very strong case" future appointments of the JIC chairmanship should only go to people with experience of dealing with ministers in a very senior role - someone who is "beyond influence, and thus probably in his last post".

Lord Butler said it did not imply any criticism of past or present JIC chairmen, but it was important the chairman should be independent and objective.


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