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Rediff India http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/jan/30uk2.htm

Majority feels Hutton report a whitewash: Poll

January 30, 2004 19:27 IST

Majority of the people in Britain feel the Hutton report, which exonerated the Tony Blair government in connection with the suicide of weapons expert David Kelly was a 'whitewash', an opinion poll indicated on Friday.

According to the YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph, the public expressed doubts about the report's one-sided verdict, which castigated the British Broadcasting Corporation for accusing the government of 'sexing up' a dossier on pre-war Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Blair also secured an 'unreserved' apology from the broadcaster's governors. Fifty-six per cent of the people interviewed said Lord Hutton, as a member of the Establishment, was 'too ready' to sympathise with the government.

Only 34 per cent thought his report represented a thorough and impartial attempt to discover the truth about Dr Kelly's death. The poll also showed the BBC is still trusted more than the government.

YouGov found that 67 per cent trust BBC news journalists to tell the truth compared with 31 per cent who trust the government.