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Shrewsbury 24

Volume 577: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2014

The hon. Lady will know that the Cabinet Office holds the key to releasing the remaining documents. I am grateful for the letter she wrote to me and hope she has received my reply. I am conscious that she has a family interest in the matter as well as a political one. I remind her that we adopted the system that was in place under the previous Government, according to which matters that touch on national security are subject to exemption from the Freedom of Information Act. We are talking about only one document and three paragraphs in each of three other documents. If she addresses her request to the Cabinet Office ahead of the review, I hope that she will get an encouraging response.

The Minister must accept that it is difficult to believe that, more than 40 years after the events, there could be any real national security issues. He is aware that on 23 January this House voted for the publication of the documents. Is he willing to meet me and other interested Members to discuss how we can ensure that the documents are published at the earliest opportunity?

The earliest opportunity will be next year, as I made clear to the hon. Member for Blaydon (Mr Anderson) in the debate that he secured. I also offered him the opportunity to discuss it with colleagues, and I am very open to that. I can assure the hon. Lady that the Lord Chancellor satisfied himself that it was appropriate for the documents to be kept under Cabinet closure, but the matter will be open to full review next year.