Cross-party peers back Baker’s calls for fresh David Kelly inquiry

by Stephen Tall on January 17, 2008

So the Bexhill Observer informs us:

Speaking in the Lords, Labour peer Lord Berkeley said the book contained sufficient evidence to warrant the opening of a new inquiry into the death of the government weapons inspector in 2003.

In his exchange with the Minister, Lord Berkeley highlighted the unsatisfactory, non-statutory nature of the Hutton Inquiry and the fact that none of the witnesses were obliged to give evidence under oath.

He was backed by Lord Martin of Gresford (Lib Dem) and Lord Stoddart of Swindon (independent).

Lord Martin also raised the matter revealed in Mr Baker’s book that Lord Falconer, then Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, used an exceptional power to direct the coroner both not to continue with the original inquest into Dr Kelly’s death and not to resume it unless there was an exceptional reason.

In his reply the Minister said the government would not re-open the matter, but described Mr Baker’s book as ‘a good Christmas read’.

Such a good read, indeed, that it has been shortlisted for the Channel 4 Political Book of the Year Award. Back in November, Norman Baker wrote an article for LDV – Why the death of Dr David Kelly simply will not go away – highlighting the reasons he believes an investigation is essential, and concluding:

What is certain is that the conclusions of the Hutton Inquiry are an insult to the intelligence of the British people, and because of this, this is unfinished business. It will remain so until we have a proper inquest into the death of Dr Kelly, and a proper full-scale public inquiry into the disastrous and dishonest decision by the Blair Government to take us into an illegal war in Iraq.

You can buy a copy of Norman’s book via Amazon using this link (which earns the party commission).