Foreign Affairs Committee

Session 2002 - 2003: Thursday 24th July 2003

Statement by the Chairman

Transcript of Andrew Gilligan's oral evidence given in private

The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Donald Anderson, has this morning made the following statement:

"At the private evidence session with Andrew Gilligan on 17th July, the Committee stated to Mr Gilligan that it would wish to publish the full transcript of evidence, and Mr Gilligan agreed that should be done.  After the meeting, I said that the transcript would be made available as soon as the witness, in accordance with normal practice, had been given an opportunity to correct any errors of transcription.

"It was intended that the transcript would be available for public release by the end of this week.  Subsequently, I received a letter from Mr Gilligan, asking that the transcript should not be brought into the public domain.  I have also received a private communication from the Chairman of the BBC, which has to remain confidential.

"In the light of these considerations, the Committee has reluctantly decided not to publish the transcript of Mr Gilligan's evidence of 17th July, at the present time.  However, the Committee will make the full transcript available to Lord Hutton's inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly, if the inquiry so requests.  Furthermore, it is the Committee's intention to place the transcript in the public domain at the earliest appropriate moment."