Scott casts 'no doubt on my integrity' says Lyell

Lawyers have featured prominently in Sir Richard Scott's report on arms to Iraq.

The Government's top lawyer, Attorney General Sir Nicholas Lyell, faces daily calls for his resignation as a result of his role in the Matrix Churchill trial.

Scott criticises Lyell for advising Ministers they had a duty to sign Public Interest Immunity Certificates to prevent disclosure of documents in the trial and for failing to act when informed by Michael Heseltine, then president of the Board of Trade, that justice might not be done.

However, writing in Friday's The Independent, Lyell said: “Sir Richard Scott casts not the slightest doubt on my integrity. Nor does he suggest that I should have intervened further to stop the prosecution.

“His criticisms are founded on the different view that he takes of the law on PII. I remain of the belief that the advice I gave was correct.”

A statement from the Attorney General's chambers says Ministers took legal advice on PII from Sir John Laws, now a High Court Judge, and former Criminal Bar Association chair Michael Kalisher QC.

Scott will return to court and takes up his role as vice-chancellor. Presiley Baxendale QC, who sat on the inquiry team on a reputed £800 a day fee, is rumoured to be getting a judicial post, and third member barrister Christopher Muttukumaru, could return to the Treasury Solicitor's department.