By politics.co.uk staff
The chance of an inquiry into the death of David Kelly became markedly more likely today, after Michael Howard joined those calling for it to take place.
The former home secretary and Tory party leader admitted that shortcomings in the official report into the weapon inspector's death had been on his mind "for quite a while".
The intervention follows a letter to the Times from eight experts saying the Hutton inquiry conclusion that Dr Kelly died after taking an overdose of co-proxamol and cutting his wrists was unsound.
"In view of the growing number of relevant questions that have arisen and cast doubt on the conclusions reached by Lord Hutton, I believe it would now be appropriate for a full inquest to be held," Mr Howard told the Mail on Sunday.
"Recent evidence by the first police officer on the scene, together with new statements by doctors raise serious questions which should be considered.
"This has been on my mind for quite a while and recent events have crystallised my view."
Dr Kelly's body was found in woodland near his home in 2003, shortly after being revealed as a source to a BBC news story about the 'sexing up' of a dossier into Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.
The Hutton inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his death also acted as an inquest under the orders of the lord chancellor, Lord Falconer.
This was an unusual development, and medical concerns over the official story of his death, combined with the decision to incorporate the inquest into the Hutton inquiry, which was itself widely branded a whitewash, have poured fuel on the fire of conspiracy theorists.