» Monday, February 7, 2011

AL Megrahi

Asked why documents were being released by the Cabinet Secretary, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that the Prime Minister asked the Cabinet Secretary to review the circumstances surrounding the release of Al Megrahi and the Government’s role in that process.

Asked if the Prime Minister’s statement would look to be judgemental over the decisions made by the previous Government or would it be a laying out of the facts, the PMS replied that people would have to wait for the Prime Minister’s statement.

The Cabinet Secretary was asked to carry out a specific review of the record, held by the Government.

On whether the Cabinet Secretary had been given specific guidance from the Prime Minister on what he expected to see in the report, the PMS said that the remit given by the Prime Minister was to look back at the decision that was taken and the circumstances surrounding that decision.

Asked if there had been any consultation with former Ministers, the PMS said that that was the normal process. Asked if there had been consultation with Scottish Ministers, the PMS advised people to speak to the Cabinet Office on the exact process.

When asked if former officials had been consulted, specifically Mark Allen, the PMS said he did not know, but to check with the Cabinet Office on the process.

Asked what had led the Prime Minister to ask for this review, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister had announced the review in the United States last year. While in opposition he had made it clear that he did not agree with the decision.

On whether all documents relating to the case would be released, the PMS advised people to wait and see. This followed a review conducted by the Cabinet Secretary; he had a remit and he was fulfilling that.

Asked if the Prime Minister was involved in the decision as to which documents got published, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister was not allowed to see the documents of previous Governments, which was why the Cabinet Secretary was conducting this process.

Put that today’s exercise breached the principle of Ministers not being given access to the documents of previous administrations, the PMS cited the Iraq Inquiry and explained that releasing material from previous Governments did happen. The PMS added that documents were often released following a review, an inquiry, or after an FOI request. There was a process that had to be adhered to and this was in line with that process.

Asked whether it was true for all Ministers that they could not see the documents of the previous administration, the PMS said it was; Ministers could ask officials to advise them, but could not be given access to past documents.

Put that it was unusual for documents of a previous administration to be released, the PMS said it did not happen on a regular basis, but it occurred more regularly since the introduction of the FOI Act.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


February 2011
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Jan   Mar »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh