Marsh retains lawyers after Hutton Report

Today editor Kevin Marsh is consulting lawyers over material published or broadcast in the wake of the Hutton Report.

Marsh, who oversaw the programme in which Gilligan claimed that the Government had misrepresented intelligence, was not called as a witness before the Hutton Inquiry, nor was his written submission presented by the BBC.

Editorial procedures on Today, however, were heavily criticised in the report, with Lord Hutton condemning the editorial checks as “defective” and lambasting senior corporation figures for failing to inspect the reporter’s notes before responding to Alastair Campbell.

But according to The Observer, Marsh had approved a prepared script and seen the reporter’s notes before the broadcast, and he was unaware that Gilligan was going to include allegations that the Government inserted the 45-minute claim, knowing that it was incorrect, and that it had been a last-minute addition because it was single sourced.

Media solicitor David Price confirmed that Marsh was instructing him in relation to material published following the Hutton Report, but declined to expand on the details.

Today presenter John Humphrys has also added his voice to the fray by accusing Campbell of trying to “destabilise the BBC in a pretty tacky way”.

In an interview with the Radio Times, Humphrys said that the speech given by the former government adviser after the report was published “felt like lying in the gutter while your head was kicked in”.

 

By Sarah Boden

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