Monday, 22 August 2011

Why didn't Mrs Kelly return on the 15th July?

There are many aspects of the testimony from Mrs Kelly on the 1st September 2003 which, at a minimum, strike me as very odd.  I am now going to describe one of these, an interesting point which so far as I am aware has never been raised before.  It must be emphasised that in my opinion "odd" doesn't necessarily equate with "sinister" although it might do.

The relevant part of the official narrative, in summary, goes like this:  Nick Rufford, a Sunday Times journalist, turns up at the gate to the Kelly home at about 7.30 pm on Wednesday 9th July.  He spoke to Dr Kelly and Mrs Kelly states that Mr Rufford tells him 'the press were on their way in droves'.  She knows of somewhere they can go to in Cornwall to escape the press; they quickly pack and head west staying at Weston-Super-Mare that night before continuing to their destination on the 10th.  Moving on to Friday 11th and it is agreed that Dr Kelly would appear before both the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) and the televised Foreign Affairs Select Committee (FAC).

I am not absolutely certain about whether, when Dr Kelly on the 11th agreed to appear before both committees, it had been decided that they would both be on Tuesday 15th but certainly on Monday 14th it was clearly the intention that both committee meetings would be on that same day.

Going back to the preceding Sunday we gather that Dr Kelly left Cornwall alone to drive to Oxford to stay with his daughter Rachel.  He would use the train to go up to London for his appearance before the two committees.  During this time his wife Janice would stay down in Cornwall.

One argument is that it was surprising that Mrs Kelly stayed behind rather than accompanying him to give moral support.  Putting aside for a moment my belief that the marriage was in turmoil it might anyway be the case that if both Dr and Mrs Kelly were highly stressed with the thought of Dr Kelly appearing under the scrutiny of TV cameras it could be that the stress levels would be magnified if they were in close proximity to each other.  Thus I believe that the fact that Janice Kelly didn't go to Oxford with her husband that Sunday is not so inexplicable as might first appear.

Tuesday dawns and, so far as Mrs Kelly knows, her husband is attending both committees that day.  It is also by coincidence the Kelly's 36th wedding anniversary.  This is what Janice says about the 15th: 'This was our 36th wedding anniversary and I was constantly thinking of him all day'.  On the evening of the 14th Janice would have believed that within 24 hours both committees would be out of the way and some sort of normality could be resumed.  So on that basis why didn't she arrange to get the train to Oxford on the Tuesday, they could celebrate their anniversary with a meal at the home of their daughter and her fiancee, but no she stays on in Cornwall.

I have wondered for some time whether Janice Kelly was reading her testimony from a prepared script - one reason possibly to keep her out of view of reporters.  This extract of her evidence I found particularly fascinating:

Q. What were you doing on the Friday?
A.  On the Friday we decided to go to the Lost Gardens of Heligan.  It was only a short drive so we thought that would be apt after the long day or two before.
Q.  That is what, some gardens you can walk around?
A.  That is right, yes.
Q.  And did you have lunch there?
A.  I am not sure whether we did or not.  No, I think we went back home - we spent a long morning there during which he had taken a call from several people from MOD explaining about the Foreign Affairs Committee on the Tuesday and an Intelligence Committee the following Wednesday.
Q.  Do you know who the calls were from?
A.  Certainly one was from Bryan Wells.  I am not sure if it was Bryan who told him that the former Foreign Affairs Committee would be televised. 

Not a too reliable witness linking the Tuesday and Wednesday committee meetings to her evidence of the situation on Friday 11th July (assuming that on that day they had decided that the two meetings would both be on the same day).  If she was reading her evidence from a prepared script all I can say is that she didn't have a very good script writer. 



  1. Brian,

    The written invitation to the FAC is here: Letter Priestley/Kelly: 10/07/03 and clearly refers to 15.00 on 15th July 2003.

    There is no corresponding written invitation from the ISC on the Hutton Inquiry site, so far as I can see.

  2. Brian,

    The absence of a written request from the Intelligence and Security Committee to Dr. Kelly may be due to it being an oral request.

    See Note from Peter Watkins 10/07/03.

    That document confirms that the original intention was that David Kelly give evidence to the ISC on 15th July 2003.

  3. Andrew

    Thanks very much indeed for the links. There now seems to be absolute clarity that the official narrative is confirmed of the intention that Dr Kelly would attend both meetings on 15 July.

    The earliest time that Mrs Kelly could legitimately have known that the ISC meeting would be the following day would have been at lunchtime on the Tuesday, if Dr Kelly had phoned her.

  4. On the 15th July David Kelly is being "worked", he first attends Downing street where he is told the ISC would be his first ordeal, in the Cabinet office.

    Then he is told there is a change of plan and he has to get over to the House of Commons in a hurry because the FAC are about to sit and that will be first grilling.

    It is a very hot day and a bomb scare has meant the car which was meant to take DK over the road could not be used so DK had to rush on foot to the inquisition.

    So when Campbell refers to DK's performance as a "disaster" could it be because they failed to rattle him?

  5. LL,

    That may well be why Alastair Campbell termed David Kelly's appearance as a "disaster".

    One wonders if the "bomb scare" was real or part of the elaborate charade?

  6. Andrew/Brian

    The letter MOD1/0074 inviting Dr Kelly to the FAC is also referred to by Sgt Geoff Webb in his evidence. Webb is clearly reading from a script, because he asks to refer to notes. It seems highly significant that the letter is open, with no envelope and is found in Dr Kelly's briefcase.
    The purpose of this is to reinforce the story that Dr Kelly returned home on the evening of the 16th July. The briefcase is of course well known from the staged TV footage of Clark/Wells/Kate Wilson marching Kelly into the FAC.
    Notice too the significance of the evidence of Rachel Kelly's future husband, Mr Wilkins. He is asked out of the blue by Dingemans whether Dr Kelly wss carring a suitcase, and the word briefcase occurs three times in the next exchange - highly significant for the official narrative.

    This all makes me feel that Dr Kelly never reached Southmoor after the FAC, but that's just my take on the Ruth Rendell murder mystery style script.

  7. The famous briefcase (there may well have been more than one, just as Dr Kelly had more than one home telephone number, apparently) makes an appearance in Mrs Janice Kelly's scripted answers before the Hutton Inquiry.
    The briefcase is packed allegedly,along with the two small suitcases, for the alleged sudden trip to Cornwall.
    How does that fit in with the official narrative, and for what purpose?

  8. Felix

    The letter Priestley to Kelly of 10 July (MOD/1/0074) appears to be a fax and, although part of the date can't be seen, it looks to me as if the fax date at the very top is 10/07/2003 and possibly showing a time of 12.00.

    Bearing in mind the urgency of getting a reply it would seem logical to send this letter to Dr Kelly by fax and hence no envelope. Could DS Webb really have failed to realise it was a fax?

    My working hypothesis is that Dr Kelly left Southmoor with his wife during the afternoon/evening of the 10th and stayed overnight at Weston-Super-Mare. This ties in with the Roger Avery evidence. Before he leaves Southmoor Dr Kelly would therefore be aware of the request to attend the FAC.

    I suspect that Bryan Wells had to be very careful in his appearances at the Inquiry to ensure his version of events relating to the flight to Cornwall by the Kellys fitted in with Mrs Kelly's timeline.

    Bryan Wells gave evidence before and after Mrs Kelly and it's on my to do list to go through his testimonies with a fine toothcomb.

  9. Following on from my last comment, if DS Webb's evidence regarding finding "MOD/1/0074" is honest, then it seems to me that it is almost certain that it found its way into Dr Kelly's briefcase on 10th July. His recovering it from his fax machine on his arrival back home on the evening of 16 July and then placing it in his briefcase would be very odd in my opinion.

  10. I forgot to draw attention to another remark to Lord Hutton of Mr Wilkins,when primed by Mr Dingemans, stating he loaded or helped them load the suitcases into (Dr Kelly's) car though no mention of a briefcase

    Why on earth did Mrs Kelly seem relieved to be back in Oxford? What was keeping her away?

    According to Rachel Kelly, Dr Kelly was also allegedly quite relieved to be back with here. That made two of them relieved to be back from Cornwall. Sounds pretty awful. I wonder why?

    Incidentally Brian,
    Mr Dingemans put it to Rachel Kelly that on Monday evening July 14 Dr Kelly is still expecting to attend both FAC and ISC on the following day. Rachel Kelly answers yes

  11. In making my two comments earlier today I have to admit I came to a conclusion that now appears to be wrong at least in part.

    In the TVP section of evidence there is a document TVP/3/0097 which looks like a letter rather than a fax and is the letter from Mr Priestley to Dr Kelly of the 10th. Furthermore at the bottom left someone has identified it as GHW/1/2. GHW are Sergeant Webb's initials. Presumably this letter was put in Dr Kelly's mailbox or pigeonhole in his London office and picked up on the 14th July.

    There is still a possibility that Dr Kelly received the fax copy of this letter at his home on the 10th if he didn't leave there until some time later that day.

    Especially the last ^ lines...