UK gov must reveal hidden files


The SNP has challenged the UK government to “play fair” following the revelation that1997 files on devolution weren't released because the Scotland Office pleaded for them not to be. The vast majority of archived files due to be opened in 2013 have been released by the National Records of Scotland but The Scotland Office asked for a number of files to be withheld from release and it is now up to Scotland Office and UK Government officials to inspect the remaining unopened files. Jamie Hepburn MSP said: "These files must be released.  It has been 15 years since devolution and whatever the UK Government is trying to hide it is time to be open with the people of Scotland.  The Scotland Office will be cheating Scotland of it's history if it does not allow these files to be released. "We know Labour ministers including Blair and Brown were at odds over devolution, but that is no reason to hold that information back. "It is vital that that in 2013 the year before Scotland's referendum on independence that the UK government acts honestly and openly with the people of Scotland.  The material in these files is not just an important part of our history it could be of importance to the current debate over independence. "How are people supposed to believe the UK government over Scotland's future when it is too busy hiding Scotland's political past." Mr Hepburn is writing to Alistair Darling, the leader of the No Campaign’s Tory-labour anti-independence alliance to see if he stands by his previous comments on the need for a fair fight.  Mr Hepburn added: “We’ve had a fair bit of whinging from the No camp about what is and what isn’t fair and in truth that has been nothing more than political posturing – as their acceptance of the Scottish Government’s perfectly fair proposed question shows.  “Now they must raise the bar and demand their task masters at the UK government are transparent and allow the files from 1997 to be seen by the people of Scotland.”  Notes