Yesterday (10 December), Jack Straw vetoed releasing the minutes of a 1997 Cabinet Ministerial Committee Meeting on Devolution to Scotland and Wales and the English Regions. He stated that releasing the information would be against the public interest, citing the doctrine of collective responsibility, although the disclosure had previously been approved by the Information Commissioner on June 23rd 2009.
According to the Ministry of Justice, this is only the second time since the Freedom of Information Act was introduced in 2005 that a request granted by an Information Tribunal has been vetoed � out of 160,000 requests. The previous occasion on which the veto was imposed was in February 2009 in respect of the disclosure of the minutes of two cabinet meetings leading up to the Iraq war.
What are Jack Straw and the Ministry of Justice so concerned with concealing? What was said in a meeting about devolution that was so dangerous that it can‘t be made public? What deals were done to break up England and preserve the dominance of Scottish politicians? The English public deserves to know.
This meeting, twelve years ago, led to an asymmetric devolution settlement which is to the great disadvantage of England. The Campaign for an English Parliament believes that action must be taken to deliver a fair and democratic constitutional settlement for England. Lift the veto, Jack, and let us in on the decisions you made.