Scott tries to plug leaks

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The Independent Online
The Scott inquiry yesterday sought to prevent leaks of its long-awaited report into government knowledge of arms supplies to Iraq, writes Chris Blackhurst.

After a report in yesterday's Independent that Peter Lilley, the Social Security Secretary, will be criticised, Christopher Muttukumaru, secretary to the inquiry, said in a letter that "we have asked individuals to respect the confidentiality of the draft extracts sent to them". Only the final report, due after Easter, will be the "authoritative and conclusive reflection of Sir Richard Scott's views," Mr Muttukumaru said.

But, with draft report sections and letters indicating Sir Richard's thinking circulating in Whitehall, keeping a lid on disclosures is proving impossible.

Inquiry witnesses are being asked to comment on what he plans to say about them. Often, as with Mr Lilley, that has meant submission of new written evidence. That, in turn, has led to Sir Richard sending more letters seeking comment.

Letters, page 12

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