The new head of the UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), John Scarlet, is alleged to have lobbied the Iraq Survey Group to include "10 Golden
Nuggets" in it's report on Iraq's WMD. He is alleged to have asked that the ISG include claims that Iraq had a working smallpox programme and that
Iraqi scientists were working on a "rail gun". Number 10 Downing Street have not issued a denial of the claims which have been made by a friend of
the late Dr Kelly, broadcaster Tom Mangold. The new MI6 Chief is facing an all party call for his resignation, after two days of taking up his
No 10 fails to deny Scarlett's influence on survey group
By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor
03 August 2004
The Government refused yesterday to deny an authoritative report that John Scarlett, the former head of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), asked
the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) to include 10 "golden nuggets" in its report on weapons of mass destruction, including a claim that it had smallpox
weapons or was trying to produce them.
Mr Scarlett is also said to have suggested to the ISG they include a claim that Iraq probably possessed mobile biological weapons laboratories, and
that Saddam Hussein was developing a "rail gun" which could propel an object at enormous speed along a track.
But the Prime Minister's official spokesman insisted Mr Scarlett, the new head of MI6, did not "mislead" Britain over an e-mail suggesting the
"golden nuggets" be put in a report by the US-backed investigation.
A Number 10 spokeswoman said: "There's no question of the Government or any of its departments or agencies, and that includes the JIC and its then
chairman John Scarlett, seeking to mislead the ISG." The allegations were made by Tom Mangold, a respected journalist and friend of the family of Dr
David Kelly, the weapons expert whose suicide was investigated by the Hutton inquiry. That report cleared the Government of "sexing up" the Iraq
dossiers against the wishes of the intelligence services.
The revelation that Mr Scarlett tried to influence the ISG yesterday brought fresh calls for him to step down from his new post as "C", the head of
Britain's intelligence services, which he took up officially on Sunday. Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, has for
the first time joined Tory and Labour MPs yesterday in calling for the resignation of Mr Scarlett.
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The decision by Prime Minister Tony Blair to make John Scarlet the new head of MI6 has always been controversial. It is thought by many that Mr
Scarlet is too close to Number 10 and that may cause political policies to influence MI6 decisions.
[edit on 8-2-2004 by Valhall]