Earl Mountbatten of Burma: Disclosure of Information

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 21st June 2021.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer to Question 11456 of 5 June 2021 on the vetting of Lord and Lady Mountbatten's private diaries prior to access being given to historians, what the source is of the statement that, prior to retiring as Chief of Defence Staff in 1965, Lord Mountbatten accepted that such vetting would apply to private diaries; for what reason those diaries were not vetted prior to being (a) purchased with money from the public purse and (b) transferred to Southampton University; what work his Department carried out to support the release of those diaries to the public in the years prior to Dr Andrew Lownie's Tribunal case in 2020; and what categories of information are capable of being deemed too sensitive for publication (i) 42 years and (ii) 62 years after the deaths of Lord and Lady Mountbatten respectively.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

As the Rt. Hon. Member will be aware, there are several FOI exemptions that remain in place for historic records. As I said in my previous answer, this case is currently before the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) and it would not be appropriate to make further comment whilst this is subject to ongoing legal proceedings.

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