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Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 19:37 GMT 20:37 UK
Ex-Brown aide regrets BBC battle
By Ollie Stone-Lee
Political reporter, BBC News, Labour conference in Manchester

Lord Hutton
Lord Hutton's inquiry looked at the death of David Kelly
Trust in Labour was damaged by the battle with the BBC which led to the Hutton inquiry, says Gordon Brown's ex-special adviser.

Ian Austin, now a Labour MP, said the episode was one of the biggest mistakes made in jeopardising trust.

"Looking back on it, getting into a big battle with the BBC... I'm not sure that did a lot to build trust in government and its approach," he said.

The row came in 2003 over a report about Iraq's alleged weapons.

It led to the suicide of government scientist Dr David Kelly - whose death was probed by the Hutton inquiry.

Mr Austin, speaking at a conference fringe meeting, said he did not think his view on the impact of the controversy was particularly controversial.

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