Rowan Laxton – Secret Official

20 01 2010

Category: Anti-Semitism, Law, Middle East, Politics, Rowan Laxton

I have had the final word from the Foreign Office on my questions about Rowan Laxton: They are not permitted to answer any of my other questions because the information I have requested is ‘personal’ and therefore beyond the scope of the FOA; it’s personal information because it relates to a person. I can’t really argue with that; the logic is flawless. However…

If that’s the case why did they even tell me he’d been given a warning? That information is personal too. Do they get to pick and choose which personal information they release and don’t?

It strikes me that a partial release of personal information without any explanation as to the reasons for selective release is having your cake and eating it; the Freedom of Information Act isn’t there for the Foreign Office to justify selective disclosure of information – is it?

There’s a broader question too. Before he was convicted and given a warning, his post (Head of the South Asia Desk) was public knowledge.

He has returned to the Foreign Office after an undisclosed period on suspension. He has returned without any diminution in rank – for all we know he may even have been promoted. Yet when he returns we are not allowed to know what job he holds.

Why not? Why wouldn’t the public be allowed to know what post was held by a senior civil servant?

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