Call for silence over Kelly death

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Indy Politics

Tom Kelly, Tony Blair's official spokesman, told senior figures in the Government to "be silent" about the death of Dr David Kelly 10 days before he sparked a furore by suggesting the government scientist was a "Walter Mitty".

A memo released to the Hutton inquiry showed Mr Kelly advised that "a bit of humility and dignity is what the country is looking for". But he was forced to apologise days later after The Independent revealed a senior Whitehall figure had described Dr Kelly as a "Walter Mitty" style fantasist.

He sent the memo, dated 19 July and outlining the government "line", to senior figures including Alastair Campbell, the Prime Minister's director of communications, Charles Clarke, the Education Secretary, and his fellow official spokesman, Godric Smith.

He wrote: "We should let Lord Hutton establish the facts and do nothing or say anything that pre-empts his investigation. That means no one in government, in Parliament or in the media should rush to judgement. Let the independent judge do his job and the rest of us be silent. [The family of David Kelly] should be allowed to grieve without having a whole cacophony of controversy in the background."

Mr Kelly's memo was published yesterday by the Hutton inquiry,after it was released to the law lord by the Intelligence and Security Committee.

It also said: "We should all recognise and keep at the forefront of our minds that today a family is mourning the loss of a husband, a father and a friend ... A bit of humility and dignity is what the country is looking for at this stage and I think we owe that to David Kelly's family most of all."

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