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Poll shows Britons' skepticism over Hutton report
www.chinaview.cn 2004-01-29 23:15:11

    LONDON, Jan. 29 (Xinhuanet) -- Half of those questioned in a British survey remain unconvinced that the Hutton report cleared the government of any wrongful behavior.

    The poll for Thursday's London Evening Standard said half the 521 people questioned were not convinced by Lord Hutton's verdict that the government had not acted in a "dishonorable or duplicitous" manner, compared to 36 percent who supported the findings.

    According to the survey, as many as 49 percent believed the Hutton report was "a whitewash".

    Though the report cleared the government of wrongdoings, a third of the respondents said they were now less likely to vote for British Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labor party.

    Seventy percent of those polled demanded an independent inquiryinto the case put to justify the government's entry into the US-led war with Iraq.

    While 56 percent believed Hutton was unfair in heavily rebukingthe BBC, 35 percent said the BBC deserved the criticism.

    Hutton published Wednesday his long-awaited report on the independent inquiry into the apparent suicide of weapons expert David Kelly during the row between the government and the BBC overIraqi weapons intelligence.

    The report cleared Blair and his government of any "dishonorable or underhand" strategy in leaking Kelly's name to themedia, a development some believe was instrumental in causing Kelly's death.

    Instead, Hutton ruled that BBC's report was "unfounded" and criticized the broadcaster's editorial processes as "defective". Enditem

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