The Freedom of Information Act has a clause which allows public authorities to ignore a request for information “if the request is vexatious”. It says little about what members of the public can do if they encounter vexatious government departments.
The Cabinet Office – which includes the prime minister’s office – seems now to be openly refusing to comply with the transparency law, especially when it comes to the person of the prime minister. His courtiers seem to regard FoIA requests as lèse-majesté, and to regard their job as being to fight transparency. Read more
By Chris Cook
Correspondence between Prince Charles and government ministers must remain secret, the government has decided.
Dominic Grieve, the attorney-general, is using a ministerial veto that has been deployed only four times, to block publication of the documents.
The letters had been requested by the Guardian newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act. This veto overturns a ruling by the upper tribunal, a higher court, that ruled in favour of disclosure. Ministers have used the veto in three other cases, to block disclosures relating to the Iraq war, Scottish devolution and NHS reform. The Prince has caused controversy in the past with his advocacy of causes from homeopathy, a reversion to “traditional” teaching methods to his dislike for modern Read more