Oliver Letwin: documents will not be reviewed until 2021

Government continue to refuse to reviewed documents relating to the Shrewsbury Trials. The next review of these paper will be in 2021,  50 years after the strike.

On the 21st October Oliver Letwin MP informed the House of Commons that the cabinet had reviewed the documents relating to the trials at Shrewsbury in 1973/4 and decided to continue to withhold them from public scrutiny. These documents are currently being held under sec 23 of the FOIA. This section deals with National Security!

We have written to David Cameron and lodged a complaint against the Cabinet Office for failing to inform us that they were carrying out a review of documents retained by the Government relating to the building workers’ trials at Shrewsbury in 1973-74. They also failed to inform us of the outcome of their review. This is disgraceful behaviour showing nothing but contempt for the members of our campaign and for the pickets who are seeking the truth behind their convictions which we consider to be a miscarriage of justice. It is also demonstrates a highhanded disregard for the many MPs who have supported our campaign in Parliament. This only came to our attention when we saw the report in Hansard of 21 October 2015.

The Labour Party pledged in its 2015 election manifesto to release all documents relating to the Shrewsbury trials if they had been returned to government this year. The determination of the current government to withhold the documents under section 23 of the Freedom of Information Act until a further review in 2021 (which will be almost 50 years after the trials ended) suggests that these documents reveal the connection between the Conservative Government of 1970-74 and the decision to prosecute the pickets. It would also suggest that the security services were involved in the prosecutions.

The campaign members will be meeting Andy Burnham to discuss putting pressure on the government to release all documents relating to the trials of the building workers at Shrewsbury in 1973/4.