Healey on risk register report to Parliament from Information Commissioner

Responding to the Information Commissioner’s report to Parliament today on the “Ministerial veto on disclosure of the Department of Health’s Transition Risk Register”, Labour MP John Healey who has fought for nearly 20 months for the publication of the risk register said:

“This is the third time the Government’s case for secrecy has been heard and dismissed. It’s the third damning verdict on their desperate efforts to hide from the public the risks of their huge NHS upheaval.

“The Information Commissioner confirms the Cabinet is overriding the law and their own Government policy with the political veto on the NHS risk register. In blunt terms, this report tells Parliament that Ministers have ridden roughshod over existing FoI law and it warns that this case signals plans to change the law and roll back the public’s right to know.

“The political veto has only ever been used before to protect Cabinet material. This move widens the span of Government information protected under veto. It is a landmark in the Executive’s bid to draw a wider veil of secrecy over Government decisions.

“I have challenged the Cabinet’s veto in the Commons, and I’ve have not ruled out a challenge in the courts”.