Monday, 27 June 2011

Poor judgement shown by Kevin McGinty

Kevin McGinty in the Attorney General's Office has, it would seem, a high position there judging by the numerous entries on the internet that include his name.  In relation to Dr Kelly's death he has been the point of contact for those writing to Mr Grieve.  He has also been the individual who has been responsible for getting those such as Dr Shepherd to take instructions to review evidence and to provide reports.

He wrote to Dr Shepherd on 12 November 2010 to thank the latter 'for agreeing to take instructions in this case'  Unfortunately he displayed a serious lack of judgement as can be seen from the following two paragraphs:

Whilst I have already asked whether you would be prepared to work with Dr Hunt, counsel has since advised that in order to ensure not only the undoubted fact of your review being independent, we should also be concerned to ensure the appearance of independence.

Counsel has advised that it would be desirable if you did not have any direct contact with Dr Hunt but seek any information or materials you require through Treasury Solicitors Department.  Whilst the appearance of independence is clearly important, I simply don't know how this proposal will impact on your ability to carry out this work.  I will speak to you about this on Monday.

I have to say that I am disappointed that Mr McGinty got this wrong.  Dr Shepherd's function was to review the work and report of Dr Hunt not engage in conversation with him.

Hopefully the letter was sent out sufficiently quickly that no contact had been made between Dr Shepherd and Dr Hunt in the interim.


  1. Well, to paraphrase McGinty,I think anything would have been better than the superficial charade enacted at the Hutton Inquiry.
    "...the common complaint that an inquest would in some way be better than what happened at the Hutton Inquiry"

    Poor judgement also on the part of McGinty to say
    We should also be concerned to ensure the appearance of independence,(my emphasis)
    which says it all really.

  2. Mr McGinty in his letter to Nicholas Gardiner 17th Nov 2010 gives a warning that the Attorney General intends to publish supporting documentation should he decide not to make an application to the High Court for an inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly.

    Mr Gardiner responds (3 Dec 2010) and acknowledges the danger of his responses getting into the public domain and suggests (para 17) that the two meet to discuss aspects that he does not want to commit to print.

    So that’s fairly transparent, there was stuff they wanted to hide from public scrutiny.