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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No Release of Iraq Invasion Minutes

Jack Straw, just after 'losing his homework'.

Minutes of cabinet meetings in which ministers discussed their motivation for going to war with Iraq will not be made public, Justice Secretary Jack Straw has ruled.

The announcement comes despite the decision of the Information Tribunal to force the Government to release the minutes, which it had deemed were a matter of national interest.

However, Mr Straw said he could not permit the release of the records from 2003 discussions over the invasion of Iraq because they had been 'eaten by David Blunkett's guide dog'.

Mr Straw said, "It's true, honest, I'm really sorry. I was going to bring them to this Press Conference, but I left them on the table at David's house and his dog ate them. Honest. You can ask him if you don't believe me".

Suppressing a grin, the Justice Minister added that he was having a new copy of the minutes drawn up based on his recollections of the meetings, which he was certain would vindicate the Government's decision to violate international law in invading Iraq. Mr Straw said that he hoped to have these new minutes published just after everyone involved in the cabinet meetings had died of old age.

Critics of the Government have attacked the announcement, pointing out that this is not the first time access to information has been denied. The Hutton Enquiry into the death of WMD expert David Kelly was suspended after Geoff Hoon's grandmother died 12 times, on each occasion the day before he was due to give evidence, and the police investigation into the 'Cash For Honours' scandal was stalled when former Prime Minister Tony Blair provided an excuse note from his mother.

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