Union condemns 'one-sided report'

Dear: ‘grave injustice’ to Gilligan

The NUJ claimed the Hutton Report’s criticisms of Andrew Gilligan and the BBC were “unfounded”.

General secretary Jeremy Dear said blaming the BBC and its reporter for the trouble his broadcast caused the Government was “a threat to independent journalism”.

Dear said: “I have spoken to Andrew Gilligan and I believe the report does him and his story a grave injustice.

Whatever Lord Hutton may think, it is clear from the evidence he heard that the dossier was ‘sexed-up’, that many in the intelligence services were unhappy about it, and that Andrew Gilligan’s story was substantially correct.

From his 19 broadcasts on that first morning, Lord Hutton has taken a single sentence barely noticed at the time and has used it to condemn the entire story.”

Dear said Hutton had taken an unwarranted sideswipe at Gilligan’s notetaking, when other reporters recorded Dr Kelly as saying very similar things.

The report was “selective, grossly one-sided and a serious threat to the future of investigative journalism”.

Dear called on the BBC governors to stand firm, “defend their reporter and the essential truth of their story”.

He warned that the BBC could face an industrial dispute if it sacked or disciplined Gilligan.

Dear said the NUJ would take “whatever action is necessary” to defend its member.

The NUJ is representing Gilligan.

By Jon Slattery

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