Talk:David Kelly (weapons expert)

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The last edit says that Kelly's name was leaked to the press by the MoD. has this been established or is it still in doubt as to whether it was leaked by the MoD or the BBC? Mintguy 18:04 21 Jul 2003 (UTC)

His name was supplied by the Secretary of Defence in a private letter to the BBC. The BBC refused to comment (and journalistic protection of sources is such that a source's name is not revealed). Kelly, having been a media source before was an obvious potential source. The media asked the MoD was it him. Instead of saying 'no comment' Hoon's press officer confirmed that it was their conviction that he was and that he had been named in the letter to the BBC. FearÉIREANN 18:52 21 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I was aware of the Geoff Hoon letter, I wasn't aware of the way Kelly's name was revealed to the broader press. I've changed 'leaked' (which sounds intentional) to revealed. Mintguy 18:59 21 Jul 2003 (UTC)


In the "conspiracy theory" section there is a reference to a BBC poll reporting what % of people think he committed suicide vs. think the death was suspicious. I propose to delete this after a decent interval under WP:Reliable source examples#Use of statistical data which says that polls are primary sources to be avoided. If man on the street Joe Botz is not a reliable source on the question of whether David Kelly killed himself, it is hard to see why a random sampling of seven hundred Joe Botzes would become more reliable (seven hundred x zero= zero). Jonathanwallace (talk) 14:25, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Polls swing from week to week, and reflect contingent changes in what people are watching on television any one week, and how the programme is spun. I agree with your proposal.Nishidani (talk) 15:16, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Interesting that you have not heard of 'The wisdom of the crowd' - - a random sampling of seven hundred Joe Botzes would become more reliable. Did the result say he was murdered? (as you think it politik to remove such wisdom). (talk) 20:38, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Let's just rename UTC and call it CIA. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:24, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

--> I am DEEPLY OFFENDED by this FALSE statement: "He appears to have gone directly to an area of woodlands known as Harrowdown Hill about a mile away from his home, where he ingested up to 29 tablets of painkillers, co-proxamol, an analgesic drug and to have then cut his left wrist with a knife he had owned since his youth." It's absurd to ASSUME this man took his own life. The same men who lied about David Kelly's death also lied about TORTURE and the "War OF Terror" that has slaughtered millions of Human Beings. This manipulation of David Kelly's memory is DEEPLY OFFENSIVE to me. Someone please, get the facts strait. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

There's no assumption inherent in the statement. It is consistent with the published reports used as sources. The problem is, you're buying into the conspiracy theories and are objecting to a source-supported statement, preferring a stance ("it wasn't suicide") supported only by conjecture. This isn't a debate over whether he killed himself or not. It's a presentation of verified source material. If you have an objection, cite a reputable source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:45, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Current article is unbalanced - there are continuing controversies[edit]

I am new to making contributions to Wikipedia but am perturbed at the instant way in which what are, in my view, justifiable improvements to the article on the Death of David Kelly have been removed.

I added a paragraph to indicate that the topic is the subject of continuing controversy. That seems to me to be factual.

I added a paragraph about the recent question in the UK House of Commons. Also factual in my view.

I added a paragraph about the forensic evidence that suggests that David Kelly was murdered. I explained that in terms of what campaigners see. Isn't that balanced? If only one PoV is allowed in the article how can that be balanced?

What are Mr. Blackburne's objections to my edits?

Should I have added online links? (I don't know how yet).

There are also assorted factual inaccuracies / omissions in the article which I would like to address / discuss.

Thanks AndrewWatt2 (talk) 10:50, 5 June 2011 (UTC)— Preceding unsigned comment added by AndrewWatt2 (talkcontribs) 10:48, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Your change had two parts. The first was a paragraph in the lede that largely duplicates the end of the fourth paragraph which covers this, but sourced and with a neutral point of view. The remainder had even more problems: the heading saying "it was murder" though all the evidence (the inquiry, the postmortem) points the other way, followed by a list of doubts put forward by conspiracy theorists long discredited by the actual evidence. This also is already fully covered in the article, properly sourced with a neutral point of view.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 11:49, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Had JohnBlackburne not reverted, I would have done so. Your text clearly endorsed a point of view on this topic and has some problems with its factual basis. Let me take first your lede addition concerning consideration of a new inquest: the Prime Minister seemed to rule that out entirely at Prime Minister's Questions on 18 May. You seem to be taking your lead from what is printed in the Daily Mail which has regularly mentioned the Attorney-General's review. What the Attorney-General actually said on 18 August 2010, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, was "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." He also said "I have been given no evidence to suggest an alternative cause of death". Since then the Attorney-General has made no public statement about a review.
To sum up, what is happening is that the Attorney-General has simply said that he would of course consider any new evidence presented to him; not quite the same as saying "ongoing consideration". It would be very strange if he were to say the opposite. The multiplicity of press stories reporting various presentations of 'new evidence' do not substantiate any claim that the Attorney-General has taken them seriously.
Your later additions in the text clearly endorse a point of view critical of the Hutton Inquiry and supportive of the campaigners. The article already reports the criticisms and claims as such. Sam Blacketer (talk) 11:56, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
John & Sam, Thanks for the feedback. The August 2010 Telegraph article has been superceded by the September 2010 formal legal process, the "Memorial", addressed to the Attorney General. It's online at (the September 2010 date is on the final page of the "Memorial"). The AG mentioned activity re the request for an order that an inquest be held here: (page 88 of the document). See also .
Similarly I have also written formally to the Attorney General (see, for example, and have been informed by the AG's Office that the AG and the Solicitor General read what I send. (Did I mention that I am a doctor? I'm not one of "the doctors" putting forward the "Memorial"). For me, as a doctor, the postmortem and toxicology reports released in October 2010 highlighted the doubts about and deficiencies of the Hutton Inquiry decision, contrary to the opinion in the non-medical mainstream media.
The mention of 5th December 2009 as the start date of legal action is incorrect. It formally began in September 2010, although it was (as I understand it) contemplated months previously. Assuming, once you check the links I've given you, that you accept that what I'm telling you is accurate, how best is the article updated/corrected? Oops! AndrewWatt2 (talk) 13:02, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
A quick check did reveal a Dr Andrew Watt involved in this issue. You should read pages about conflicts of interest before editing in an area where you are actually involved in campaigning. Sam Blacketer (talk) 13:06, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

The question at Prime Ministers Questions - feedback sought[edit]

I have tried twice to post text like the following and it's been, in my perception, "censored".

So, I'd like to ask for some feedback.

First here is the "offending" text, following which I'd appreciate some advice on what you guys consider I "should" have done.

==Question in UK Parliament==

- - The controversy about the death of Dr. David Kelly has not gone away.

- - On 18th May 2011 in the UK House of Commons, Sir Peter Tapsell MP asked the Prime Minister, David Cameron, the following question:

- - "Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth and Horncastle) (Con): Now that there is to be a full investigation into the abduction or murder of Madeleine McCann, is there not a much stronger case for a full investigation into the suicide or murder of Dr David Kelly?

- - The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend is raising two issues. First, on the issue of Madeleine McCann, it is welcome that the Metropolitan police has decided to review the case and the paperwork. On the issue of Dr David Kelly, I thought the results of the inquest that was carried out and the report into it were fairly clear, and I do not think it is necessary to take that case forward."[1]

The quote is accurate. The reference is accurate and specifically links to the quoted text. So far so good, I thought. But apparently Hansard isn't a reliable source (if I interpret John Blackburne's comment correctly when he deleted the change).

And if the most senior MP in the House of Commons asks if David Kelly's death was "suicide or murder" how is that anything other than controversial?

And isn't the question itself worthy of mention?

Assuming that it is accepted that the question at PMQs is relevant how would one of the "editors" have handled the edit? — Preceding unsigned comment added by AndrewWatt2 (talkcontribs) 13:55, 5 June 2011 (UTC) AndrewWatt2 (talk) 13:58, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Politicians say all sorts of things. Hansard by law writes them all down, it is not a reliable secondary source. That a confused MP that few people have heard of got the (unsolved) Madeleine McCann case and the (solved) David Kelly case mixed up does not make it notable.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 14:06, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree with JohnBlackburne that a question asked at PMQs is not especially significant because any MP can wait for their name to come up and ask about a subject of their choice. The question didn't add any new information and it was already known that there were MPs raising questions about the case. (We must beware of adding peacock terms and implying that the involvement of the Father of the House makes it more likely the concerns are true.) In this case perhaps the most significant aspect of it was that the Prime Minister chose to answer in a profoundly discouraging way. Hansard is a primary source, so if a Parliamentary Question does fall to be included in an article, it would be better to find a suitable secondary source if one is available. Sam Blacketer (talk) 15:22, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Attorney General announcement expected 9th June 2011[edit]

The UK Attorney General is expected to make an announcement in the House of Commons tomorrow (9th June) re whether or not he will apply to the High Court for an Order that a (new) inquest be held into the death of Dr. David Kelly.

Whichever way the announcement goes it is likely that the current article will require some amendment.

AndrewWatt2 (talk) 19:05, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

"Conspiracy theories" in subhead title?[edit]

We presently have this subhead title:

    1. 4.2 Doubts and conspiracy theories over suicide verdict

However, the only mention of conspiracy in the section is an episode in the TV show "The Conspiracy Files" -- which seems a problematic (for NPOV) opener to the topic, as there were (and apparently still are) serious doubts about the suicide verdict, and continuing questions that Kelly may have been murdered, with the forensic evidence (successfully) made to look like a suicide.

Also in the following section we find the uncited claim:

The report confirmed all the findings in the Hutton Report and undermined the conspiracy theories that had been advanced...

-- which has the appearance of pejoratively labeling all doubters as "conspiracy theorists." Unless there is definite RS support for this interpretation -- very unlikely in the second case -- this language should be removed as an NPOV violation. --Pete Tillman (talk) 15:55, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

ECG pads[edit]

Dr Hunt, pathologist, said Dr Kelly had a significant degree of coronary artery disease and that four electro-cardiogram pads were found on his chest. The guardian interprets this as "Scientist had recent heart test" (title of article)

Another article states:

  • "Heart experts today said it was "unusual" for someone to wear electrode pads while walking following revelations that government scientist David Kelly had four of the special monitors on his chest when his body was found in an Oxfordshire wood."
  • "If I was in a morgue and his body was presented to me I would have thought it had come out of a coronary care unit or an operating theatre," said Professor Konrad Jamrozik, of Imperial College Hospital London. "It would be unusual for someone to be walking around wearing these pads," he told the press association.
  • Another heart specialist, who declined to be named, also said it was "very unusual" for someone to be found wearing the pads. "It would suggest that at some time he had been connected to a heart monitor in a hospital or, and this is more likely, he had been connected to a 24-hour ECG recorder.
I can't find a source confirming that he had a check-up that day or the day before, but I'm equally unable to find a source saying no evidence of that could be found. One would assume in a case like this that hospital records would be checked, his doctor would be asked, etc... Anyone with good sources? I think it deserves being mentioned in the article if it still is unexplained.
DS Belgium (talk) 14:13, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Um, this one turned out to be a complete red herring. The ECG pads had been attached by the paramedic team who first discovered Dr Kelly's body, on the off-chance that it might be possible to resuscitate him. See On the spot: day one at the Hutton Inquiry. Sam Blacketer (talk) 14:23, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Ah, ok. Thanx DS Belgium (talk) 20:09, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Popcruft section[edit]

Generally Popcruft sections are discouraged, if the content is significant enough it can be embodied in the article. The section has a number of pretty spurious entries. The topic of dramatic representation inspired by Kelly could be captured in a couple of sentences elsewhere in the article although reference to specific representations should each be referenced.

Any objections if I embody as described in the next couple of days?

ALR (talk) 08:56, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

No responses either way so I'll go ahead.

ALR (talk) 10:01, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Loaded verbs replaced with neutral[edit]

I have replace the word "determined" by "concluded", and "confirmed" by "re-iterated" in the lead of this article, as the previous wording carried an an implication of factual certainty which is not justified in the face of the continuing debate amongst medical and legal experts about the offical version of the events. DaveApter (talk) 09:11, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Good work. --John (talk) 09:21, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Content that the first could be taken either way but I'm not content that the second is reasonable as it implies that the post-mortem and the Hutton report aren't independent of one another.
The suggestion that they're not needs sources.
The ongoing debate isn't particularly significant to be honest.
ALR (talk) 21:34, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Newly released leaked email shows Blair considered the Hutton Report to be a white-wash[edit]

A leaked email seems to implicate that Tony Blair set up the inquiry into David Kelly's death as a white-wash.

Poyani (talk) 23:44, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

English comprehension can be difficult at times, but I don't think I agree with your conclusion.
A) The email is not leaked. It was found during the police investigation which led to the current trial of Rebekah Brooks et al, and it has been disclosed in open court.
B) It's reported speech and not directly from Blair. It may be that Brooks was accurately reporting what Blair said, but we don't know that. We do not know whether the words "Hutton-style report" are from Blair or from Brooks' interpretation.
C) If we first assume that Brooks is broadly accurate in her reporting, and secondly assume the term "Hutton-style report" did come from Blair, it doesn't imply (as I think you meant to write) that Blair dismissed the Hutton inquiry. Blair was offering advice which he thought would help Brooks, whom he assumes will not face any charges - for he says that the inquiry report should be published when the police end their investigation. Blair thinks that the inquiry will "clear you"; Brooks is not so sure, but then she knows what went on internally and Blair does not.
D) The word "white-wash" does not appear in any form. Sam Blacketer (talk) 01:05, 20 February 2014 (UTC)