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Blanks and blankets

Betsan Powys | 15:50 UK time, Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Plaid's Elfyn Llwyd reckons "there must be some dynamite" in them there papers.

Former Welsh Secretary Ron Davies says he knows there's not.

They're talking about Cabinet sub-committee papers on devolution, the ones the Justice Secretary Jack Straw vetoed their publication before Christmas.

At the time the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said he was considering taking legal advice on whether to challenge the decision to use the veto for a second time. It was used for the first time to block the release of cabinet minutes relating to the Iraq War.

Today he's revealed that though he's "perturbed by the 'blanket' nature of the exercise of the veto in the present case" on reflection "he is inclined to wait and see whether the exceptional does indeed become more routine." The full report is here.

In other words, the Information Commissioner doesn't like that "blanket" and if it's used again to smother information he thinks is in the public interest, he may well do something about it.

But for the second time, Mr Straw's blanket stays put and we stay in the dark.


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