Sunday, October 18, 2009

No answer... yet *updated*

Last week, as was widely disseminated on blogs and Twitter, the Guardian was gagged and then ungagged from reporting a Parliamentary question by Paul Farrelly MP that was already in the public domain here. The question was,
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.
The question was tabled for answer on Wednesday 14th October, was it answered? Errr no. Nor was it answered on Thursday. Not even a holding answer from what I can see.

What a surprise!

Interestingly, the Ministry of Justice have answered the other questions Paul Farrley tabled about unreportable injunctions - something I have been issued with as it happens. Perhaps the answer will appear next week instead?

Update 20th Oct: The answer..

Mr. Straw: The issues raised by this and other similar cases are important and deserve to be properly explored. I intend to look into the issues raised and am ready to discuss them with my hon. Friend and any other hon. Member concerned. A meeting with representatives of the national press, senior officials of my Ministry has already been arranged.

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