Letter: Whitehall's definition of an answer

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Sir: How reassured I feel about the veracity of our government after reading Sir Robin Butler's testimony to the Scott inquiry ('Whitehall chief carpeted at Iraq inquiry', 10 February).

On page two, Sir Robin states: 'Ministers ultimately take the rap'. Hang on, hadn't I just read on page one in another report: 'Earlier, Sir Robin stated that ministers should not have to resign for civil servants' mistakes of which they were unaware'.

It seems when embarrassing policy contradictions are exposed, the buck stops not with ministers, but is passed to civil servants, whose lack of assiduousness has kept our irreproachable Government in the dark.

Yours sincerely,




10 February