Warts and all Inquiry web site

THE Hutton inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly – and who was responsible for outing him as the source of a BBC story which infuriated Downing Street – is about to adjourn.

THE Hutton inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly – and who was responsible for outing him as the source of a BBC story which infuriated Downing Street – is about to adjourn.

It has been a fascinating few weeks, and although we've been denied seeing the fun on television, every cough and splutter can be read on the inquiry's official Internet site.

Last Thursday Anthony Charles Lynton Blair took the witness box. Starting with the dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, Inquiry counsel James Dingemans asked the Prime Minister: "We know that the dossier got at least in its earlier stages to a final state in early March time but was not published." Mr Blair replied: "Hmm."

Shortly afterwards, Mr Dingemans said: "We have heard evidence that after your announcement on 3rd September, there was a meeting in Downing Street


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chaired by Alastair Campbell on 5th September, where the presentational sides of the dossier were discussed, and after that meeting an e-mail was exchanged. Can I take you to that? That is CAB/11/17." Blair: "That is going to come up here, is it?" Dingemans: "I hope so" – legalise for "too right, pal."

Read the full transcript of all the evidence on www.the-hutton-inquiry-org.uk and judge for yourselves who it was who took the decision which was to lead to Dr Kelly – the UK's leading expert on Iraqi weapons – apparently cutting his wrists in an Oxfordshire woodland.

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THE Bury St Edmunds constituency – Tory majority 2,503 (4.98%) over Labour – is becoming the focus of attention from both the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.

Stowmarket, which is the second major population centre in the division, was visited last month the Green Party, whose lead candidate for next year's European elections Margaret Wright toured the facilities – or rather lack of them – for bus passengers and the difficult access to the town's railway station. Ms Wright professed herself "really shocked" at the problems in the town. "Every authority has policies to encourage the use of public transport, yet nothing seems to have been provided for Stowmarket."

Don't be surprised if the Greens put up a candidate in Bury St Edmunds at the General Election – and it looks as if the Lib Dems are preparing for a big push to overtake Labour and give incumbent Tory MP David Ruffley a run for his money.

The Lib Dems have set themselves a membership target of 400 in the next two years – but if every current member were able to recruit two more, the constituency would have 500 members. This would qualify the constituency as a target parliamentary seat, with extra resources from headquarters thrown at the election effort.

It's Labour at the next election which has most to fear from the twin assault from the Lib Dems and the Greens – but a really strong showing by the Lib Dems could present the Tories with a real headache at the following election.

What the Lib Dems need to do as soon as possible is choose a candidate who would give a commitment to work the seat and stand again if defeated – just like Norman Lamb, who is now MP for Norfolk North.

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