17 August 2011

Clegg should release Hillsborough files

The Cabinet Office is to appeal against the Information Commissioner's decision to release papers under the Freedom of Information act revealing Mrs Thatcher's views about the 1989 tragedy.

Their reasoning is that an independent panel is currently looking at all the papers and will decide what should be released to the public.

As can be seen from the Liverpool Echo report - there is little support for this view - principally because of a lack of trust of the authorities from survivors and supporters.

It's an entirely self defeating move by the Cabinet Office. If the panel agrees with the commissioner it will releases the papers. If it doesn't they will be subject to another FoI request without the grounds for the current appeal.

Clegg - who is in charge of the Cabinet Office - should step in and insist the appeal is dropped. It's not about the technicalities - it is about trust. And thousands of people in Liverpool do not trust the authorities as a result of years of cover ups, delays and backside covering by those in the know.

So Clegg should cut through the red tape and release the files. And by doing so take the first steps in the process of re-building trust with those affected by the tragedy and at the same time highlight to the people of Liverpool the difference having Lib Dems in government can make.

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