Hutton assigns all Kelly enquiry PR to DCA

Lord Hutton has briefed the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) to handle PR and media calls surrounding his enquiry into the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly.

Aside from the launch this week, Hutton will not be addressing the media himself until the enquiry is underway. In the meantime, the DCA, and specifically its chief press officer Mike Burrell, will handle media inquiries.

Burrell said there were no plans to recruit a designated PRO, either from within the Government or externally, for the enquiry’s launch, progress and results: ‘That would only happen if it was a long, drawn-out enquiry, which this is not.’

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence press office is still resolutely refusing to say who gave its team the go ahead to confirm Dr Kelly as the BBC’s source for stories on Iraqi arms.

The MoD’s armed forces PRO Paul Sykes said: ‘We are not going to go into details of who said what and when – that will be covered in the enquiry.’

Referring to the decision to name Dr Kelly he stated: ‘As we said at the time, if we were given the correct name, we would confirm that.’

l The Treasury has this week announced the appointment of HM Customs and Excise head of VAT strategy Damien McBride as head of comms and strategy at the department. He joins in September, replacing Michael Ellam, who is leaving the post to take a non-PR role within the Treasury.

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