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Shrewsbury 24 Campaign

Volume 600: debated on Wednesday 21 October 2015

3. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on releasing all Government papers relating to the Shrewsbury 24 campaign. (901699)

I have not had any discussions with the Justice Secretary, but, as I promised the House I would some months ago, I have now completed the review of the material held by the Cabinet Office, which has not yet been released.

I am grateful for that answer. It is 40 years since my constituents first faced the issues at Shrewsbury, 18 months since this House voted to release the papers and currently seven and a half years before they will be released. Could the Minister, having conducted that review, now come to this House to make a full statement releasing those papers?

No. I have no intention of authorising the release of those papers, which relate to the security services. When the right hon. Gentleman was a Minister in the Ministry of Justice he brought that matter to the then Justice Secretary and the papers were not released. Since then, we have made the decision to hold those materials. However, I can assure the right hon. Gentleman— this is the material point—that the Cabinet Secretary and I both reviewed them and both came to the firm conclusion that they do not relate in any way to the question of the safety of the conviction of the Shrewsbury 24 and, crucially, all of those papers have been released to and been reviewed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, so that it can make that independent, impartial judgment on this very important question of justice.