Questioning the decision by UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw to veto the release of documents covering top-level talks on Scottish devolution which date back to 1997, SNP Constitutional Affairs spokesperson Pete Wishart MP queried what the Labour government was trying to hide.
A Written Statement by the Justice Secretary - which can be accessed by following the link below - confirms the decision to prevent publication – only the second time a veto been used to stop disclosure and overrule the recommendation of the independent Information Commissioner.
Mr Wishart said:
“The decision to veto the release of this information is retrograde step, and raises serious questions about what Labour has to hide.
“It is difficult to understand how decade old talks on devolution warrant the exercise of a veto which has only previously been used to prevent the disclosure of Iraq cabinet minutes. It makes an absolute mockery of Labour’s commitment to freedom of information and undermines the independent role of the information commissioner.
“On a day that should be about transparency in politics, with MPs allowances being published for all to see, it is deeply regrettable that the Labour government decides to keep documents secret that should properly be made public.
“Only yesterday we saw the same old Labour and Tory alliance working against Scotland’s interests on the issue of devolving more powers to Scotland – and now this issue again raises questions about Labour’s commitment to devolution and Scottish self government.”