Gilligan will not face internal BBC inquiry

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The Independent Online

Andrew Gilligan is to escape an internal BBC inquiry into his secret contacts with a Common select committee. The Hutton inquiry last week heard he suggested questions to be put to David Kelly at the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) on 15 July, two days before the scientist's apparent death. One appeared to reveal that Dr Kelly was the source for another report for a colleague, Susan Watts, the science editor of BBC2's Newsnight.

After an Gilligan e-mail to an FAC member was handed over by the Liberal Democrats, the Hutton Inquiry asked the BBC why it was not submitted in a bundle of about 300 documents. The BBC had hinted it would investigate the apparent omission and the suggestion that Mr Gilligan compromised a colleague's sources.

It said last week: "We are looking at this e-mail and will deal with it in the context of the Hutton inquiry." But a BBC spokeswoman told The Independent last night: "There will be no inquiry. We never said there would be."

The corporation also confirmed Mr Gilligan had been taken off active reporting duties to enable him to prepare for the inquiry. The spokeswoman said the move was routine and nothing could be read into it.