Sunday, August 03, 2003

MI6 chief to quit after split on Iraq: "Britain's top spymaster has decided to retire early, dealing a damaging new blow to the Government's credibility over its presentation of intelligence on Iraq. Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6, is thought to be dismayed by the visible rift between his organisation and Downing Street."

"Retired and serving MI6 officers have told The Observer that they favour an internal candidate - someone who would be seen as a standard-bearer for the freedom from political interference the service has traditionally sworn to uphold. But Whitehall sources say Tony Blair is seriously considering John Scarlett, the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee - viewed by some professionals as 'fatally tainted' because he endorsed the claim in the Government's dossier last September that Saddam could deploy chemical or biological weapons within 45 minutes. Scarlett was a trusted member of Blair's inner circle throughout the Iraq crisis, and has now become a personal friend."

No comments: