One of Scotland's best-known environment journalists has won a three-year Freedom of Information battle to have the Ministry of Defence release documents about the safety of nuclear weapons.
Rob Edwards, who writes freelance for the Sunday Herald, was about to take his case to the FoI appeals body, the Information Tribunal when the MoD performed what he describes as an “astonishing U-turn”, saying, in his blog, the MoD lawyers took the decision for “pragmatic” reasons. For the tribunal, he had amassed a 100 pages of evidence.
He continues: “Back in December 2006, I asked the MoD under freedom of information law for six reports by its internal nuclear safety regulators. Fourteen months later, the MoD reluctantly provided heavily censored versions of the reports, with every substantive comment made by regulators excised.
“I appealed to the UK Information Commissioner, who at the time was Richard Thomas, to overturn the decision. He was replaced in June 2009 by Christopher Graham, who issued a decision backing the MoD in February this year.”
The resulting Sunday Herald story is headed, 'MoD papers reveal catalogue of nuclear safety failures'.