The Hutton Report is due out in a few hours. Meanwhile, the Sun Newspaper — a British tabloid best known for running daily pix of half-naked women to pump up circulation — reports that it has had advance access to the Hutton Report and that the report 'clears' Blair.
Hutton 'clears Blair': The Sun newspaper has tonight claimed to have a leak of the Hutton report. The paper says Tony Blair has been cleared of wrongdoing but that the BBC and the governors have been criticised for not investigating the veracity of the Andrew Gilligan report that sparked the row between the corporation and the government.
But the slant the Sun has taken is already being treated with some scepticism – Lord Hutton demanded that everyone who received an early copy of his report sign an undertaking not to disclose its contents and there is suspicion that the tabloid may have got its leak from a source sympathetic to the government.
The Sun has supported the Labour party throughout the Kelly affair and it appears that it has not the seen the full report, but has only had part of the conclusions read to it.
The paper's front page story claims the prime minister will not be blamed for the 'naming strategy' that led to the public identification of Dr Kelly as the 'mole' who had an unauthorised meeting with Gilligan.
According to the Sun, the BBC has also been criticised for not making more rigorous checks to establish the truth of Gilligan's central claim that the government had knowingly 'sexed up' the Iraq dossier that made the case for war.
Although once Margret Thatcher's biggest cheerleader, Ruport Murdoch's newspaper has been a big supporter of Blair, especially as regards Iraq.