HL Deb 17 September 2003 vol 652 c175WA
Lord McNally

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the more general criticisms made of the BBC coverage of the Iraq war made by Alastair Campbell represent government policy. [HL3712]

The Lord President of the Council (Lord Williams of Mostyn)

As the Prime Minister's Director of Communications said in his evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on 25 June, the BBC was responsible for some of the best journalism during the conflict in Iraq. However, as is well documented, the Government were critical of some aspects of its coverage. Mr Campbell was reflecting the Prime Minister's view.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they consider that a Minister of the Crown, civil servant, or special adviser has been wrongfully defamed in their governing reputation by the BBC in its coverage of the Iraq war and its aftermath; and, if so, whether they have any intention to bring civil proceedings for libel. [HL3860]

Lord Williams of Mostyn

Any decision to initiate libel proceedings would he conducted in accordance with the requirements of the ministerial code.