London, Aug. 4 (AP): More Britons trust the BBC than Prime Minister Tony Blair, according to a poll published today.
The survey by polling firm Mori for the Financial Times newspaper said that the heated political battle between the broadcaster and the government over claims that Blairís office exaggerated the threat from Iraq has hurt the Prime Minister more than the BBC.
Fifty-nine per cent of those questioned said they trusted the BBC, compared to 41 per cent who said they trusted Blair. Twenty-six per cent said they did not trust the broadcaster, compared to 49 per cent who lack trust in the Prime Minister. The suicide of ministry of defence scientist David Kelly has damaged Blairís popularity and credibility. The BBC identified Kelly after his death as the main source of a piece that quoted an anonymous official claiming the government inflated the threat from Iraq to justify war, an accusation Blair vehemently denies.
Lord Hutton, a senior appeals judge, is heading a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Kellyís death. Mori questioned 982 adults between July 25 and July 27. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.