Originally posted here.

The SNP have asked the British government for the minutes of the 1997 cabinet meeting on devolution in which it was decided that the Scots and Welsh would be allowed self government whilst England would not.

Author:
Stuart Parr who blogs at Wonkos World

This important document has been requested a number of times under the Freedom of Information Act and blocked every time.  The Information Commissioner has ruled that release of the minutes is in the public interest and ordered their release but they were blocked by the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve.

1997 Cabinet

What are these traitors so desperate to hide?

Vetoing FOI requests requires the unanimous agreement of the cabinet.  When Jack Straw and Dominic Grieve vetoed their release in 2009 and 2012, these people conspired to keep the minutes secret:

Jack Straw Dominic Grieve
The Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP The Rt Hon. David Cameron MP
The Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP The Rt Hon. Nick Clegg MP
The Rt Hon The Lord Mandelson PC The Rt Hon. William Hague MP
The Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP The Rt Hon. George Osborne MP
The Rt Hon David Miliband MP The Rt Hon. Kenneth Clarke QC MP
The Rt Hon Jack Straw MP The Rt Hon. Theresa May MP
The Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP The Rt Hon. Dr Liam Fox MP
The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP
The Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP The Rt Hon. Dr Vince Cable MP
The Rt Hon John Denham MP The Rt Hon. Iain Duncan Smith MP
The Rt Hon Ed Balls MP The Rt Hon. Chris Huhne MP
The Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP The Rt Hon. Edward Davey MP
The Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP The Rt Hon. Andrew Lansley CBE MP
The Rt Hon Shaun Woodward MP The Rt Hon. Michael Gove MP
The Rt Hon The Baroness Royall of Blaisdon PC The Rt Hon. Eric Pickles MP
The Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP
The Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP The Rt Hon. Justine Greening MP
The Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP The Rt Hon. Caroline Spelman MP
The Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP The Rt Hon. Andrew Mitchell MP
The Rt Hon Peter Hain MP The Rt Hon. Owen Paterson MP
The Rt Hon Bob Ainsworth MP The Rt Hon. Danny Alexander MP
The Rt Hon The Lord Adonis MP The Rt Hon. Michael Moore MP
The Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP The Rt Hon. Cheryl Gillan MP
The Rt Hon Nick Brown MP The Rt Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP
The Rt Hon The Lord Malloch-Brown KCMG PC The Rt Hon. David Laws MP
The Rt Hon John Healey MP The Rt Hon. Danny Alexander MP
The Rt Hon Pat McFadden MP The Rt Hon. The Lord Strathclyde PC
The Rt Hon The Lord Drayson PC The Rt Hon. The Baroness Warsi PC
The Rt Hon Jim Knight MP The Rt Hon. Francis Maude MP
The Rt Hon The Baroness Scotland of Asthal PC QC The Rt Hon. Oliver Letwin MP
The Rt Hon Dawn Primarolo MP The Rt Hon. David Willetts MP
The Rt Hon Rosie Winterton MP The Rt Hon. Sir George Young Bt MP
The Rt Hon Sadiq Khan MP The Rt Hon. Patrick McLoughlin MP
The Rt Hon. Dominic Grieve QC MP

The minutes are really of more interest to the English than the Scots as they got what they wanted and we got shafted so we shouldn’t be leaving it to the Scots to get these minutes into the public domain.  If every English person interested in seeing what decisions were made at the cabinet meeting that have resulted in over 15 years of institutional discrimination against the English made a Freedom of Information request for the minute, it would be extremely damaging to the British government if they tried to block their release to hundreds or thousands of people.

If you want to help force the release of these minutes, you need to send an FOI request for them to foi.team@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk.  My request is as follows:

Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, I am requesting a copy of the minutes of the 1997 Cabinet meetings on devolution. I am also requesting a copy of the Terms of Reference for the cabinet committee headed by Lord Irvine that the minutes relate to and any legal or departmental advice provided to the cabinet in relation to these meetings.

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