New Forest East

PRIME MINISTER – TOM KELLY – 4 February 2004

Dr Julian Lewis: Three weeks ago, the Prime Minister said in the Chamber that the question of his official spokesman, Tom Kelly, describing Dr Kelly as a "'Walter Mitty' character" before his body had even been buried was a matter for Lord Hutton. Lord Hutton has concluded that that comment was "wholly improper", though he noted that Tom Kelly had apologised for it. Given that Jo Moore apologised for her outrageous comment, but still had to go, when will the Prime Minister dispense with the services of his official spokesman?

[The Prime Minister: I do not agree with what the hon. Gentleman implies. Tom Kelly made an immediate and very full apology at the time, and he repeated it to the inquiry. Indeed, Lord Hutton deals with that in his report.]

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