David Kelly post-mortem

October 28, 2010, 10:17 PM GMT+0

The British public believes that the Coalition Government was right to publish the post-mortem details of United Nations weapons inspector, Dr David Kelly, earlier this month, our poll has found.

  • 58% of the British public believe that the Government was right to publish the details of Dr Kelly’s post-mortem, compared to the 19% who think that this was the wrong thing to do.
  • 14% of the public believe that Dr Kelly was murdered, this has halved since August when we found that 30% thought Kelly had been murdered.
  • 52% now think Dr Kelly committed suicide, up from 32% in August.

Conspiracy theories

Dr David Kelly was an expert on biological warfare who worked for the British Ministry of Defence and had been a weapons inspector in Iraq for the United Nations. Kelly achieved notoriety when he alleged that the Government’s Weapons of Mass Destruction dossier was incorrect to claim that Iraq had mobile germ warfare laboratories. He accused the Government of ‘sexing up’ the dossier.

A month later, on the 17th July 2003, Kelly overdosed on painkillers and was found with a slit wrist. The Hutton inquiry into his death subsequently confirmed that Kelly had committed suicide however this was seriously questioned by many, including the medical professionals who wrote a letter to The Times voicing their doubts. It was theorised that Kelly was murdered.

Despite Lord Hutton having ordered the results of Kelly’s post-mortem to be kept sealed for 70 years to protect his family, the Government decided to publish them this month to put an end to the conspiracy theories. The post-mortem states that the wounds found on Kelly’s body were ‘entirely consistent with being inflicted with a bladed weapon’ and were ‘typical of self-inflicted injury’.

See the survey details and full results