Hutton fails to improve Blair ratings

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair may be thrilled by the Hutton inquiry report, but opinion polls suggest there could actually be little to cheer.

    The PM got a clean chit from the inquiry into Dr Kelly's death

    One latest opinion poll suggests that 56% of Britons feel the findings of Lord Hutton which absolved Blair and his government of all blame for the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly, was a "whitewash."

    Published on Friday, the YouGov survey for the Daily Telegraph found that 67% of the people trusted the BBC to tell the truth, compared to 31% who trusted the government.

    A separate ICM survey for the Guardian newspaper found that just one in 10 had faith in Blair's administration compared with 31% who trusted the BBC.

    The survey findings are likely to be a cause for worry for 10 Downing Street.

    Lord Hutton rapped the BBC for wrong reporting and gave the Blair-government a clean chit.

    Hopes belied

    But if the Prime Minister hoped that Hutton's findings would finally put the lid on growing public cynicism over the war in Iraq, his expectations are turning out to be misplaced.

    The Guardian survey showed only 38% of the people were satisfied with the way Blair was doing his job while 55% were dissatisfied.

    A third poll for the The Times found that despite Hutton's exoneration of him, Blair had been damaged about as much as the BBC by the Kelly affair.

    According to the Populus survey of 500 adults, 36% now felt less favourable towards the prime minister and 34% less favourable to the BBC.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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