The Hutton Inquiry

Frequently asked Questions

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Letter of appointment from Lord Falconer to Lord Hutton dated 22 July 2003.

Letter from the Secretary of the Cabinet to Permanent Secretaries dated 7 August 2003 regarding internal disciplinary process.

When will the Report be published?
Lord Hutton's Report was sent to the printers on 19 January and it will be laid and published in Parliament on Wednesday 28 January. On the day of publication Lord Hutton will make a statement summarising his Report in Court 76 at the Royal Courts of Justice. His statement will be available for live broadcast on radio and television. Detailed timings will follow in due course.
Will Lord Hutton be holding a press conference?
Lord Hutton will read out his statement summarising his Report to the media in Court 76 at the Royal Courts of Justice on 28 January. He will not give media interviews before or after passing his Report to Lord Falconer, nor will he be taking questions from the media in the Royal Courts of Justice. Detailed timing will follow in due course.
Will members of the public be able to attend?
Yes. Although this is primarily a media event, 10 seats will be made available in Court 76. An annex will also be set up in the Royal Courts of Justice. Seats will be available on a 'first come' 'first served' basis. Detailed timings will follow in due course.
Will the Report, or just an executive summary, go on the website?
The Report will be published in full on this website in both HTML and PDF format. A copy of Lord Hutton's statement to the media on 28 January will also be posted on this website.
What will happen to the Inquiry now?
There will be no further statements about the Report from or on behalf of the Inquiry, once the Report is published. The secretariat will continue in place for a few weeks to pay bills and transfer documents to the National Archives.
Can anyone submit further evidence to the Inquiry once it is published?
No. Lord Hutton has completed his Report.
How soon after presenting the Report to Lord Falconer will it be provided to Parliament?
Immediately - statements will be made by the Prime Minister in the Commons and by Lord Falconer in the Lords on 28 January.
Who, if anyone, will receive an advance copy of the Report?
Lord Hutton intends that the six parties represented at the Inquiry will have 24 hours notice of the Report. Parties will be required to sign an undertaking not to reveal the contents of the Report before publication.
Will Opposition party leaders have a chance to read it before it is presented to Parliament?
The Government has announced that the leaders of the Opposition will have access to the Report at 6.00am on the day it is published.
Who are the parties to the Inquiry?
The Parties to the Inquiry are:
  • The Government
  • The BBC
  • Dr Kelly's Family
  • The Speaker's Council
  • Andrew Gilligan
  • Susan Watts
What happens next with regard to the Coroner's Inquest?
After the Report is published the Coroner will need to decide whether there are grounds for him to reopen his inquest.
What evidence is not being made available?

The following is not being made available:

  1. There are about three pages of evidence being withheld on National Security grounds.
  2. Some evidence will be redacted before publication to remove certain sensitive information on personal privacy grounds e.g. home addresses and telephone numbers.
  3. Some evidence will not be published at all on personal privacy grounds, for example personal witness statements, chronologies and other notes.
  4. We are not disclosing the content of personal witness statements, notes and chronologies as these are simply advance notice to the Inquiry of what an individual witness intends to say. All relevant evidence from these documents will be or will have been disclosed during examination and thus in the public domain through the transcripts of evidence given.
  5. No one was asked for a witness statement and they are not a requirement of the Inquiry process. What witnesses were asked to do was provide a note of any points or issues they wanted to come out during their examination. The Inquiry did tell witnesses that these notes would be received under a duty of confidentiality and would not be disclosed with all the other evidence by the Inquiry team. Provision of these notes is a matter for individuals. It is for individual witnesses to confirm whether or not they have provided them and to release the contents should they wish to.”

Lord Hutton has also made a statement about how he has dealt with those submissions made to the Inquiry after the conclusion of the hearings stage.

Are providers of information to the Inquiry protected from future legal proceedings?

The Hutton Inquiry is protected from any legal proceedings coming from information disclosed during the Inquiry, e.g. slander and libel, so long as publication of that material is consistent with the needs of the Inquiry and is not malicious.

Providers of information will need to take their own legal advice on this matter. The Cabinet Secretary has stated that nothing which any Government official provides to the Inquiry by way of evidence, whether orally or in writing, will be used in subsequent disciplinary proceedings against that official or any other official, subject to the limitations set out in his letter of 7 August.

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