Skripals – When the BBC Hide the Truth 417

On 8 July 2018 a lady named Kirsty Eccles asked what, in its enormous ramifications, historians may one day see as the most important Freedom of Information request ever made. The rest of this post requires extremely close and careful reading, and some thought, for you to understand that claim.

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

1: Why did BBC Newsnight correspondent Mark Urban keep secret from the licence payers that he had been having meetings with Sergei Skripal only last summer.

2: When did the BBC know this?

3: Please provide me with copies of all correspondence between yourselves and Mark Urban on the subject of Sergei Skripal.

Yours faithfully,

Kirsty Eccles

The ramifications of this little request are enormous as they cut right to the heart of the ramping up of the new Cold War, of the BBC’s propaganda collusion with the security services to that end, and of the concoction of fraudulent evidence in the Steele “dirty dossier”. This also of course casts a strong light on more plausible motives for an attack on the Skripals.

Which is why the BBC point blank refused to answer Kirsty’s request, stating that it was subject to the Freedom of Information exemption for “Journalism”.

10th July 2018
Dear Ms Eccles
Freedom of Information request – RFI20181319
Thank you for your request to the BBC of 8th July 2018, seeking the following information under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000:
1: Why did BBC Newsnight correspondent Mark Urban keep secret from the licence payers that he
had been having meetings with Sergei Skripal only last summer.
2: When did the BBC know this?
3: Please provide me with copies of all correspondence between yourselves and Mark Urban on the
subject of Sergei Skripal.
The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of
‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you. Part VI
of Schedule 1 to FOIA provides that information held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters
is only covered by the Act if it is held for ‘purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature”. The
BBC is not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or
information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.

The BBC is of course being entirely tendentious here – “journalism” does not include the deliberate suppression of vital information from the public, particularly in order to facilitate the propagation of fake news on behalf of the security services. That black propaganda is precisely what the BBC is knowingly engaged in, and here trying hard to hide.

I have today attempted to contact Mark Urban at Newsnight by phone, with no success, and sent him this email:

To: [email protected]

Dear Mark,

As you may know, I am a journalist working in alternative media, a member of the NUJ, as well as a former British Ambassador. I am researching the Skripal case.

I wish to ask you the following questions.

1) When the Skripals were first poisoned, it was the largest news story in the entire World and you were uniquely positioned having held several meetings with Sergei Skripal the previous year. Yet faced with what should have been a massive career break, you withheld that unique information on a major story from the public for four months. Why?
2) You were an officer in the Royal Tank Regiment together with Skripal’s MI6 handler, Pablo Miller, who also lived in Salisbury. Have you maintained friendship with Miller over the years and how often do you communicate?
3) When you met Skripal in Salisbury, was Miller present all or part of the time, or did you meet Miller separately?
4) Was the BBC aware of your meetings with Miller and/or Skripal at the time?
5) When, four months later, you told the world about your meetings with Skripal after the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you said you had met him to research a book. Yet the only forthcoming book by you advertised is on the Skripal attack. What was the subject of your discussions with Skripal?
6) Pablo Miller worked for Orbis Intelligence. Do you know if Miller contributed to the Christopher Steele dossier on Trump/Russia?
7) Did you discuss the Trump dossier with Skripal and/or Miller?
8) Do you know whether Skripal contributed to the Trump dossier?
9) In your Newsnight piece following the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you stated that security service sources had told you that Yulia Skripal’s telephone may have been bugged. Since January 2017, how many security service briefings or discussions have you had on any of the matter above.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Craig Murray

I should very much welcome others also sending emails to Mark Urban to emphasise the public demand for an answer from the BBC to these vital questions. If you have time, write your own email, or if not copy and paste from mine.

To quote that great Scot John Paul Jones, “We have not yet begun to fight”.

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417 thoughts on “Skripals – When the BBC Hide the Truth

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  • Republicofscotland

    Finally, as Nigel Farage says on his LBC slot that the EU will be lucky to last another ten years, the UK will not even last that long in my opinion.

    The EU is toughing up on tax laws, maybe that’s why Ress-Mogg and his Tory Brexiteering buddies are in such a hurry to get out.

    “As from the start of 2019, yes coincidentally just as the Brexit deadline looms, all EU member states will have to apply the Anti Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD). It’s an EU law designed to tackle businesses shirking their tax-paying responsibilities.”

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Plenty of shirking done traditionally in Europe. Residency in Monaco. Money in Liechtenstein. Money in Swiss banks. Money in Luxembourg

      • Andyoldlabour

        I don’t think many folks know where most of the EU contributions go – to Luxembourg and Jean Claude Juncker. It is one of the most corrupt, tax havens in the World.

        • nevermind

          Did any of the troughers in any party ever try to reform the tax havens anywhere?

          They all were eager tp take the money and perks/pension that comed with it.

    • John2o2o

      I see, your opinion being above scrutiny, I suppose. Your name says all really.

      I might remind you that King James was VI of Scotland before he was I of England.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ LondonBob August 28, 2018 at 19:13
        That was hardly the only thing he had right!

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Sharp Ears August 28, 2018 at 18:10
      Who cares what ‘sacks of ***t’ blabbers about? Just shows how ‘high’ the conspiracy against Jeremy Corbyn goes.
      Perhaps he’d do better berating Netz for wining and dining Hungary’s Viktor Orbán.

      • Andyoldlabour


        Yes, that is what counts – I hope – I really do hope unless somehow it is drowned.

      • Andyoldlabour

        That poll didn’t want me to sign up to it.
        WTF is happening nowadays?

        • John Goss

          Andyoldlabour, I have just signed this. I trust you are aware that your signature is not added until you click a link in the email sent to the address you entered as your email address!

      • Alyson

        The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Parliament debate whether Israel has ‘improper influence’ over British Politics”.

        Government responded:

        The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not believe that the State of Israel has improper influence over UK politics.

        The UK is a close friend of Israel and we enjoy an excellent bilateral relationship. This is built on decades of cooperation between our two countries across a range of fields such as education, hi-tech research, business, arts and culture. Trade between our countries is at record levels, and Israel is an important strategic partner for the UK. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not agree with the allegation of improper influence stated in the petition.

        In 2017 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was made aware of comments made by a member of staff at the Israeli Embassy in 2017 who was being secretly filmed. Following the publication of this video, the Israeli Ambassador apologised and was clear the comments made by this member of staff do not reflect the views of the Embassy or Government of Israel. The UK has a strong relationship with Israel and we consider the matter closed.

        Foreign and Commonwealth Office

    • Deb O'Nair

      “Sacks says Labour leader is antisemite”

      Why does JC not use the law when he is libeled and defamed in public like this? Surely a decent brief wouldn’t have any trouble in proving he’s not.

      It’s an outrage that members of the political and media class can say absolutely anything they like about the democratically elected leader of HM official opposition and yet it is practically forbidden to criticise their motives for doing so. It is a blatant attempt to destroy democracy in this country using the most despicable smear tactics which are worthy of a despotic tinpot dictatorship.

      • Moocho

        I thought this, i just hope he’s allowing them to make so many ridiculous accusations so he can go to the “authorities” and present a compilation of damning, 100% irrefutable cases that they are libelling and defaming him. Something tells me this is not the case though? The covers of the Mail and Telegraph today are nothing short of fuc*ing disgusting

    • Mochyn69

      Some people doth protest too much methinks, and make themselves look rather silly, to say the least!

  • fredi

    Pink Floyd Legend Roger Waters Slams Skripal Case as ‘Nonsense’

    The former leader of Pink Floyd has also blasted the White Helmets, a dubious Syrian volunteer organization which has been accused of staging videos of chemical attacks, as part of the “propaganda war,” echoing the dismissive comments he made earlier this year.

    The UK’s Momentary Lapse of Reason

    In an interview with the Russian newspaper Izvestiya, former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters dismissed the infamous Skripal case as “nonsense.” “That the attack on the Skripals was nonsense is clear to a person with half a brain. But some don’t even have one half, that’s why they believe in this absurd,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.


    • Paul Barbara

      @ fredi August 28, 2018 at 21:32
      There is an ‘H’ too many in your link above; unless people copy the link without it, they can’t get the article.

      • Sharp Ears

        Ditto. 11,689 signatures now so HMG has to respond. Don’t hold your breath though as 80% of the Tories in the HoC are members of CFoI, May included.

    • June Dewar

      Frank Hi! I could blow open all the anti-Semite voracious attacks on free speech if only I could discuss with someone like Craig Murray how it must be accomplished. It is sensitive information requiring considerable conscientious endeavour in assessing and proving viability. Nothing good and worthwhile ever comes easily that includes prevention of nuclear liquidation and early cremation of humanity by the present implementation of planned nuclear war.

  • Sharp Ears

    Theresa May looked suitably solemn when viewing the cell on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years.

    When Mr Ramaphosa makes a return visit to the UK, she can show him the squalid prison cells where we hold people over years, the detention centres run by G4S, equally squalid, and the ‘cell’ in Knightsbridge where she has held Julian Assange for over 6 years. All of this assuming she remains as PM but that is very doubtful.

  • Paul Barbara

    There are suicides, and there are US cop suicides…
    ‘Dept Claims Cop Killed Himself, While Chasing Suspect, Days Before Testifying Against Dirty Cops’:
    ‘….The case that Suiter was supposed to testify in involves eight Baltimore cops with the city’s elite gun task force, who were accused of shaking down citizens and conspiring with drug dealers. After the trial was over, 8 officers were convicted on various corruption charges.
    It is highly unlikely that a cop would kill himself in the middle of chasing down a suspect, especially when they are set to testify against other cops in the department the next day. In this case, all of the top suspects should be Baltimore city cops, but there is no indication that the review board or anyone investigating this case ever explored this possibility.’

    Anybody here believe it was suicide?

  • Pommy Swagman

    Another brilliant piece of work Craig! How you are not Prime Minister with your ability to cut through the crap is unfathomable. Coming from the other side of the planet, your analysis provides me with more information than my own public broadcaster.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “How you are not Prime Minister with your ability to cut through the crap is unfathomable.”

      It’s because he has no support from Rupert Murdoch. Recent history shows that any old twat can become PM of the UK as long as they have Rupert’s approval.

      • Robyn

        ‘Recent history shows that any old twat can become PM of the UK as long as they have Rupert’s approval.’

        Just as any old twat can become PM of Australia with Rupert’s approval.

  • Paul Barbara

    @ Righteous Ron August 29, 2018 at 00:17
    They’ll find out if Jesus was a faker on the Day of Judgement, rather to their chagrin.

  • exiled off mainstreet

    Once the spy agencies become the controlling element a government degenerates into a regime or imperium depending upon its level of power. The rule of law is sidelined and a cynical form of dictatorship develops. Britain, the US and all anglophone countries are exhibiting the results of this sort of evolution. It is more dangerous now than when the historical odious tyrannies ran riot during the ’30s and ’40s of last century because technology has advanced to the point that their continuance is a threat to our survival as a species.

  • A Traub

    Not going in to the details of the Skripals etc but what this goes to show is the limitations of the FOI Act. The FOI Act was brought in by the Blair Govt but of course was very much weakened in its final version. Even this was very much regretted by Blair in his autobiography who said what an ‘idiot’ he had been to bring it in. Tony, you need have no fear – powerful institutions like the BBC can block any meaningful probing because of the limitations of the law.

  • Jo

    Spotted this yesterday….5103
    “A Ukrainian political consultant has revealed to Sputnik that former MI6 agent Christopher Steele sought and paid for researchers in Ukraine to concoct fake stories about Donald Trump prior his election as US president to use in the now-infamous dossier that supposedly contained damning evidence of Russia-Trump collusion.

    Radio Sputnik’s Lee Stranahan spoke previously with Ukrainian political consultant and former diplomat Andrii Telizhenko about his connections to a Democratic National Committee (DNC) operative named Alexandra Chalupa who also worked for clients in Ukrainian politics. Chalupa told Politico in January 2017 that beginning in 2015, she pulled on a network of sources she’d established in Kiev and Washington to try and turn up dirt on Trump, once his star began to rise in the Republican primary campaign.” Etc etc

  • Mick Robson

    I can’t add any cogency to the (so-far) fruitless quest for information from the BBC, but last weeks R4 programme (still available on iPlayer) The Reunion, in which the Skripal, and more recent ‘nerve agent’ attacks, were discussed and, I thought, neatly tied in with the ‘Murder of Georgi Markov in the 1950s, apparently by Bulgarian secret agents, perhaps deserves examination by listeners and researchers more interested in BBC propaganda.
    A panel of ‘experts’, diplomats, security people, some of whom you may very well knowand who laid claim to being ‘there or thereabouts’, concluded that The Skripal’s incident bore all the markings of ‘state sponsored’ action, though, of course, they would never know until “the Russian archives are opened”.
    It all sounded thoroughly convincing (radio does when you’re driving on a long-haul, I find) but it did occur to me that the programme, though ostensibly about the ‘murder of Markov’ was intended to draw the listener to inevitable conclusions about the perpetrators of Salisbury and Amesbury ‘poisonings’.
    The BBC is very good at obfuscation and I felt this was a good example.
    Sorry I cannot be more ‘relevant’ to your blog of 27/08/18.
    Good luck, and please. as they say, keep up the good work.

  • John2o2o

    I’m still paying my license fee Craig, though I very much agree with you on this matter. I don’t watch BBC news.

    However, I believe strongly in the BBC as I believe strongly in the EU. We have no right to try to influence it from without. Only by fully participating have we the right to a say on what happens within it.

    If you don’t pay your license fee you forfeit all right to be answered by the BBC.

  • Coldish

    Thank you, Craig for pursuing this important investigation. You asked Urban: ‘Have you maintained friendship with Miller…’. I know Urban is unlikely to respond in any detail, but ‘maintained contact’ might have been less easily deniable.

  • CanSpeccy

    Hey, would someone correct a typo in this piece. The title should, I believe, read “when the BBC hid the truth, or possibly hides the truth. This is a nitpick, but the post is important enough to be nitpick proof.

    As others may have noted, John Ward has picked up on this post over at the Slog in a piece about the emerging British police state.

    As for the fight, bring it on.

  • Buzz Rodwell

    My problem is that, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, I find the whole Skripal circus so absurdly improbable it’s actually quite difficult to consider phrasing any enquiry with a straight keyboard.
    I am now reasonably happy to posit the theory that agents of Mossad had selected a likely test candidate in the form of the Skripals in order to gauge the efficacy of “Novichok” prior to introducing it to a certain leader of the opposition.
    What price paranoia is a question I am no longer able to even contemplate.

  • Peter Wallace

    As a an employer and payer of his salary, I have asked M.Urban to answer your questions. I urge all to email Urban with the same request.

  • Darren Heath

    Well done and all strength with your ongoing investigation. I watched Newsnight when Urban offered up the fact he had been in contact with Skirpal prior to the poison attack. Although the presenter, Evan Davis was incredulous, he didn’t follow up with any probing questions. Personally, I think Urban was advised to mention his Skirpal pre incident relationship to cover the BBC from future accusations of a cover up, even though the lack of enquiry from Davis tells me all I need to know about the dodgy BBC News machine. Please stay safe. I have no doubt the link with Steele will blow up in the near future!

  • Into1

    See Telegraph piece today where Steele is reported to have been aggressively involved with talking to Russian Oligarchs asking them for dirt on Trump/Putin collusion. Were Skripals used as a go-between? Did he or her then need to be deterred from talking or punished?
    Sy Hersh has said that his information from US military sources off-record. That Russian Org Crime were involved.

  • Intp1

    When OPCW released their onitial, Salisbury report, the obviscation that resulted from then not actually describing what the trsts identified,rather saying it was confirming what the UK had asked, which was secret. That seemed suspicious to me. Now, when they reease a report on the Amesbury poisoning, there is more, odd evasive language. They say it is a toxic compound displaying properties of a nerve agent.

    The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that intoxicated two individuals in Amesbury and resulted in one fatality.

    The toxic chemical compound displays the same toxic properties of a nerve agent. It is also the same toxic chemical that was found in the biomedical and environmental samples relating to the poisoning of Mr Sergei Skripal, Ms Yulia Skripal, and Mr Nicholas Bailey on 4 March 2018 in Salisbury.

    Is there a reasonable reason that they cannot say the compound is consistent with nerve agents of the A-230 series, for which they have manufactured samples which they commisioned?
    Is a statement boiling down to “the UK sent us samples and what they thought it was and yeah, its what they said, which we have asked to keep secret. A compound with properties of netve agent. Is that acceptable? Why are they weasel-wording?

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