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  • Did Andrew Gilligan cause Dr David Kelly’s suicide?

    by Leon
    26th August, 2008 at 11:33 am    

    An astonishing claim was made by former Mayor Ken Livingstone in yesterday’s Independent:

    “I would question him about his role in the death of Dr David Kelly. I remember hearing his controversial piece on the Today programme, it was quite early but my kids had woken up. I heard him mention a senior intelligence source and I immediately thought one of the top ten people in MI6 has grassed up the government. It turns out to be poor old David Kelly. Basically what Gilligan did was what has destroyed so many otherwise good coppers, they’ve caught a criminal but they haven’t got the evidence, so they falsify the evidence. If Gilligan hadn’t distorted what Kelly had said, grossly exaggerated it, Kelly would be alive today.”

    Incredible. I’d never looked at it that way and just assumed that if any blame lay anywhere it was on the government. Isn’t this just Ken not being able to let go of losing the election or does he have a point; did Andrew Gilligan cause Dr David Kelly’s suicide?

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    Filed in: Current affairs

    17 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. zaffer — on 26th August, 2008 at 12:07 pm  

      What goes around will one day bite you big time on the butt. Livingstone has got all the time in the world to do his plotting.

    2. Tom — on 26th August, 2008 at 12:12 pm  

      Never mind what he calls Gilligan, the real story is that he’s calling the New Labour leadership criminals, as far as I can read. Fascinating article though, and not a hint of wiff-waff. There was another article on the Independent, too, on Livingstone’s blog reading habit - here’s a bit more information:

    3. gaskell — on 26th August, 2008 at 12:13 pm  

      The cause of this tragedy was that Kelly thought he was going to be tapped for his expertise but Gilligan was trying to present him as a source for a different story and one that he couldn’t possibly know anything about, namely what had gone on within Number 10 about the dossier. Kelly probably realised that he should have drawn a line and stopped that happening. But Gilligan is to blame for using him in that way in the first place.

    4. MaidMarian — on 26th August, 2008 at 12:22 pm  

      The bloke should be allowed to rest in peace - this is undignified on the part of everyone. No one has anything to be proud of here.

      ‘I’d never looked at it that way and just assumed that if any blame lay anywhere it was on the government.’

      You may like to think through the implications of that.

    5. bananabrain — on 26th August, 2008 at 1:00 pm  

      good G!D, am i agreeing with ken livingstone twice in one year?

      sunny, had this not occurred to you before?



    6. cjcjc — on 26th August, 2008 at 1:34 pm  

      It’s possible he was a contributory factor.

      He spoke at the Frontline Club (well worth going to their events btw) a few months ago and was tackled directly on this. It’s not a new accusation.

      Needless to say, perhaps, he denied it strenuously and said that the Kelly family bore him no ill will.

      Meanwhile Livingstone is ensuring he won’t be back in 2012…excellent.

    7. Hermes123 — on 26th August, 2008 at 2:24 pm  

      Gilligan is an over-ambitious, sad git of a journalist who will sell his grandmother to get a good story byline. He exaggerated too many minor ‘facts’ during the London election to suit his running vendetta against Livingstone. It was obvious that he is someone who simply doesn’t let facts get in the way of a good story.

      I had a great deal of sympathy for him during the BBC fiasco, mainly influenced by my hatred of New Labour and the Iraq war. But his recent blatant campaigning for Boris has shown him to be a vile, unprincipled little shit.

    8. BenSix — on 26th August, 2008 at 4:07 pm  

      Interesting, though I’m prejudiced by my view that if it hadn’t been for Gilligan’s original work we may never have known what Chris Ames has subsequently found.


    9. Tom — on 26th August, 2008 at 8:34 pm  

      “But his recent blatant campaigning for Boris has shown him to be a vile, unprincipled little shit.”

      The unfortunate consequence of which is that, regardless of how detestable Blair and Campbell are, Gilligan was probably a vile, unprincipled little shit back in 2003 as well. Leopards and spots and all that.

      The worst mark against him is that he so nearly had Blair’s balls on the table, but mucked it up - after all Blair was guilty as hell and everyone involved knew it. All it needed was for a good, honest, tenacious journalist to have got the story first…

    10. leon — on 26th August, 2008 at 8:36 pm  

      Well said.

    11. Sunny — on 26th August, 2008 at 9:03 pm  

      Mmm… he may be detestable of late, but I wouldn’t go as far as blaming Dr Kelly’s death on Gilligan. Ken is getting a bit too personal.

    12. alan — on 26th August, 2008 at 10:41 pm  

      Not the old blaming a third party for a suicide routine… This form of ‘argument’ belongs to the terminally immature or politically self serving.

      The person who committed suicide isn’t here to bear witness to his motivations and merely serves as a blank canvas for the fantasies and distortions of others.

      This is undignified, as well as offensive.

    13. fugstar — on 27th August, 2008 at 10:26 am  

      journalists are the scum of the earth, and gilligan is to type. Dr kellys cas was probably more complicated though…

      as was Robin Cook’s, its remarkable how little public outcry there was when he met his maked ‘walking in the hills’

    14. Leon — on 27th August, 2008 at 12:10 pm  

      Why would there be any public outcry over a MP dying of a heart attack??

    15. cjcjc — on 27th August, 2008 at 12:29 pm  

      I guess some people believe he (too) was murdered…

    16. Leon — on 27th August, 2008 at 1:22 pm  

      Really? For what reason? And by whom, based on what evidence?

    17. billericaydicky — on 28th August, 2008 at 10:24 am  

      I didn’t follow the Kelly thing too closely but I think that the security services or whoever would have been as daft as the Watergate burglars to have attempted a murder.

      There is no way that career civil servants would have authorised such an action so you are left with the theory of “rogue” MI 5 elements.

      What is more important is the allegations of smear against Gilligan. I remember the outpouring of bile against Lee Jasper when he finally resigned much of it on this site.

      What people asked then and should still be doing so now is was anything that Gilligan wrote untrue? Where did the money go? Were Brian Paddick’s allegations untrue? It is one thing to dislike Boris because he is a Tory and like Ken because he is Labour but sticking heads in the sand is not productive anywhere especially in politics.

      I followed the whole thing on the web and in the black press and the capacity for self delusion of Livingstone supporters was almost unbelievable.

      I see Ken is now going to be an advisor on Urban Regeneration to Chavez. I wonder if the whole of the Socialist Action crown willnow be booking tickets to Caracas for new jobs paid for by petro pesos.

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