Grieve prepared to intervene in Kelly suicide row

By Ian Dunt

Dominic Grieve is prepared to intervene in the debate over the death of weapons inspector David Kelly, but insists he must be given further evidence if he is to take action.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the attorney general said those doubting whether Dr Kelly committed suicide “may have a valid point”.

Mr Grieve is the most senior legal figure to state support for a further look at the death, which was ruled a suicide by the Hutton Inquiry shortly after his death in 2003.

Medical experts wrote a letter last week branding the suicide verdict “extremely unlikely” given his injuries. Observers are also concerned at the use of the Hutton Inquiry, rather than an inquest, to settle the matter, and the fact that Lord Hutton made the post-mortem results secret for 70 years.

Gradually, senior political figures are backing the campaign for a full inquest, which could see key figures of the time, such as Alastair Campbell and Tony Blair, forced to give evidence.

Former Labour defence minister Peter Kilfoyle, prominent Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker and former Tory leader Michael Howard have all suggested an inquest should be conducted.

“We would like to resolve this in a way that can give the public reassurance,” Mr Grieve said.

“People who have expressed concerns about why Lord Hutton did not tie up every loose end may have a valid point.”

But the attorney general wants to see new evidence showing he did not commit suicide before staking any further steps.

“I have been given no evidence to suggest an alternative cause of death,” he added.

“If new evidence is put to me I can consider if an application should be made to the high court that a fresh inquest goes ahead.”

Before any action is taken, justice secretary Ken Clarke has to decide whether to release several key documents used in the Hutton report.