Kelly family demand answer from MoD

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Dr David Kelly's family demanded to know who was briefing against him in the days after his death, it emerged last night.

A solicitor representing his widow Janice asked who had authorised the infamous suggestion that the scientist was a "Walter Mitty". The Prime Minister's official spokesman Tom Kelly was eventually forced to admit he used the term .

But solicitor Peter Jacobsen suggested MoD officials were responsible and demanded answers in a letter to Government lawyers. "I am aware of press reports quoting unnamed MoD spokesmen," Mr Jacobsen wrote. "For example, may I refer you to the leading article on page 1 of The Independent of Monday 4th August where, inter alia, it is asserted that, according to MoD sources, Dr Kelly was being investigated for his contacts with journalists long before the current difficulties; a copy is attached.

"If information of this nature is being disseminated ...I should like to know on whose authority this is being done. On the other hand the Government for every good reason is calling for restraint during the course of the Inquiry...on the other hand various arms of Government appear at least through the press to be following a different course.

"If the report is true, may I please have details of the investigation?"