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
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Mystery man: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in '‘Gone Girl'
films... by the director David Fincher
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
stoptober... when the patch, gum and cold turkey had all faied
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
people
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
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

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Year 4 Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to work in ...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant We are curr...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?