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Tony Blair, Prime Minister

As leader of the country, Tony Blair had the most to lose, but has been completely exonerated by Lord Hutton.

His report concludes that the principal allegations against the prime minister - that he was involved in persuading intelligence officials to exaggerate the content of their Iraq weapons dossier and that intelligence was inserted by the government knowing it to be wrong or questionable - was "unfounded".

The only question mark Lord Hutton raised in this area was the possibility those in charge of drawing up the dossier could have been "subconsciously influenced" by Mr Blair's desire to have a strongly worded dossier.

But the law lord was satisfied the dossier authors were "concerned to ensure" the contents was consistent with the available intelligence.

The other main question surrounding Mr Blair's conduct was his role in Dr Kelly's name becoming public.

Mr Blair said he took responsibility for decisions leading up to Dr Kelly's exposure as the BBC's source.

Days after Dr Kelly's death, Mr Blair told reporters he did not authorise the "leaking" of his name, asserting it was a different matter to confirm the name "once the name was out there".

Lord Hutton said the government's belief Dr Kelly's name would eventually become public was, in his opinion, "well founded" and that the government would have been charged with a cover up if it had sought to suppress it.

Accordingly, Lord Hutton added, "the issuing of the statement was not part of a dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous strategy to leak Dr Kelly's name covertly in order to assist the government in its battle with the BBC".



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I am satisfied that there was not a dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous strategy on the part of the prime minister and officials to leak Dr Kelly's name covertly
Lord Hutton on the prime minister


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