Panorama set to reveal new details on how Iraq war began

 

The BBC will revisit one of the greatest crises in its history when it broadcasts a controversial new Panorama investigation which promises to reveal fresh information about the intelligence deployed by the Blair Government to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Peter Taylor, the award-winning investigative reporter, is working on the investigation to mark the 10th anniversary of the Iraq conflict next month, The Independent has learnt.

Taylor, renowned for his sources within the security services, is expected to reveal new information about claims, which turned out to be false, that Saddam Hussein's regime was actively pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

The episode will look ahead to the publication of the Chilcot report into the conflict. It is due to air on BBC1 on 18 March, two days before the anniversary, and is being treated with the highest sensitivity inside a BBC still reeling from the journalistic failures exposed during the Savile scandal.

It was Andrew Gilligan's Today programme claim that the Government "sexed up" the intelligence inserted into the dossier detailing Saddam's weapons' programme which led to the 2004 resignation of Greg Dyke, the BBC Director-General and Chairman Gavyn Davies, following the publication of the Hutton Report.

Taylor's film threatens to reopen the issue at a time when the BBC is still suffering a power vacuum at the highest echelons. Potentially controversial BBC investigations face the closest scrutiny following the "serious failure of BBC journalism" which led to Lord McAlpine being falsely identified as a paedophile in a Newsnight report.

The new Director-General, Tony Hall, will not take office until April and applications are being sought for a new Director of News, following Helen Boaden's move to take over the BBC's radio services. Boaden will oversee the Panorama broadcast, which was commissioned last Autumn, the BBC said.

Mr Hall, who has already approved a number of changes to senior BBC management, is expected to be fully briefed on the contents of the Panorama programme before it airs.

A BBC source said: "Helen Boaden is still Director of News and there is a perfectly robust chain of command in place, which goes all the way up to Acting Director General, Tim Davie."

In a recent BBC series on espionage, Taylor spoke to "Curveball", an Iraqi defector who confirmed that he fabricated the claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction which were quoted as "facts" by former US Secretary of State Colin Powell when he presented the case for war to the United Nations.

Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's director of communications, vehemently denied Gilligan's claim that he had inserted information known to be incorrect into the "dodgy dossier".

Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
fashion

British supermodel and hitmaker join forces to launch a 'huge song'

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually a challenging and nuanced title

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
News
people
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Sport
Fans of Palmeiras looks dejected during the match between Palmeiras and Santos
footballPalmeiras fan killed trying to 'ambush' bus full of opposition supporters
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Lead Teacher of Thinking School Drive Team and Year 3 Form teacher

Competitive: Notting Hill Prep School: Spring Term 2015 Innovative, ambitious ...

Operations Data Analyst - London - up to £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Operations Data Analyst -...

Programmatic Business Development Manager

£35 - £40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: As the Programmatic Business Develo...

Year 5 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is currently recruitin...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past