Coming soon: The secret diary of Andrew Lansley aged 53 and ½
Judges have called for the release of the former health secretary’s diaries.
Ministers could be forced to release the contents of private diaries – with former health secretary Andrew Lansley first in the queue.
The Court of Appeal has ruled that the contents of a diary kept by Lansley seven years ago must be disclosed.
The diaries cover the period when Lansley pushed through what many believe were the most significant NHS reforms for a generation.
But anyone expecting a book focusing on the worries and regrets of a health secretary accused of intellectual dishonesty will be disappointed. Rather, the diary in question details who Lansley met while he was working on the Health and Social Care Act.
It is the first time the courts have considered the public right to see entries contained in a ministerial diary under the Freedom of Information Act. Transparency campaigners said the case was important because Lansley was allegedly subjected to extensive lobbying by private healthcare interests while drawing up the controversial legislation.
Lansley, 60, was health secretary from 2010 to 2012. Journalist Simon Lewis had made an FOI request to the Department of Health to see diary contents for May 2010 to April 2011 but the government blocked disclosure.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “The Government is considering the decision of the Court of Appeal and will respond in due course.”
Picture by: Chris Radburn/PA Archive/PA Images