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"My Country Right Or Wrong"

Volume 129: debated on Wednesday 9 March 1988

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To ask the Attorney-General if he will make a statement on his decision to apply for the lifting of the interim injunction against the transmission of the first episode of the BBC programme "My Country Right or Wrong".

When the Government had reason to believe that the Radio 4 series "My Country Right or Wrong" would include interviews with members and former members of the security and intelligence services, the Government asked the BBC to give details of what would be broadcast from those interviews. The BBC refused to provide that information and so the Government sought and obtained an interlocutory injunction in order to uphold the duty of confidentiality owed by such persons. When in the course of the court proceedings the BBC provided a transcript of the first episode, the Government were able to consider what was to be broadcast from those interviews and concluded that it was no longer necessary for the broadcast of that episode to be restrained by the injunction. The Government were not able to agree to the lifting of the injunction as a whole because the BBC has still refused to disclose what other material from those interviews it is proposed to include in future broadcasts.