Was He Taken Out?

News Brief – August 2005

Former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, who quit government over the Iraq war, has collapsed on a Scottish mountainside.

Thereafter he was flown by coastguard helicopter to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, where he died on Saturday evening, police said.

However, the idea is already being mooted that he was, like Dr David Kelly, ‘taken out’ by covert assassination.

Robin Cook had quit as Commons leader in March 2003, in protest over the war in Iraq. He had been one of the most outspoken and prominent critics of Blair’s stance on Iraq.

The Scottish MP, who lived in Edinburgh, was a keen walker and cyclist and until now his health was said to have been in good health.

Mr Cook, who first became an MP for Edinburgh Central in 1974, was appointed the shadow health secretary in 1989 and became the shadow trade and industry secretary in 1992.

In 1997 he became foreign secretary, a position he held until 2001 when he was replaced by Jack Straw after openly oppossing Blair’s stance on Iraq.

He had been an outspoken critic of the government’s foreign policy from the backbench and speculation is growing that he was seen as an impediment to further moves in the “War on Terror”, in particular an expansion of the war into Iran or Syria.

A post-mortem examination revealed that the former Foreign Secretary died of hypertensive heart disease, Scotland’s Crown Office said on Tuesday, August 9. However, this will do little to convince sceptics who cite the Hutton inquiry’s verdict on Dr David Kelly “suicide” as an example of how medical evidence can be rigged, despite clear indications to the contrary.