Tommy Sheppard | MP for Edinburgh East

PRESS RELEASE: SNP SLAM CABINET OFFICE FOR APPEALING SECRET UNION POLLING 

For Immediate Release: Tuesday 13 July 2021

SNP SLAM CABINET OFFICE FOR APPEALING SECRET UNION POLLING

The SNP has slammed the UK government’s decision to appeal a ruling which would see them disclose information about secret polling conducted on public attitudes to the Union during the pandemic.

The First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) Information Rights ruled last month that the information requested by SNP MP Tommy Sheppard “relates to the implementation of existing policy rather than to policy development” and, as a result, the Cabinet Office were ordered to disclose the information within 28 days.

The SNP has called for a full public inquiry into the revelation that the UK government used funds for COVID contracts to conduct research related to constitutional issues.

Commenting, the SNP's Constitutional Affairs spokesperson Tommy Sheppard MP said:

“It has now been 28 days since the Tribunal ruled that the information requested must be made public, yet I have failed to receive any information or update from the Cabinet Office.

“Emergency COVID contracts were supposed to be used for things like PPE, or for our doctors and nurses fighting COVID.

“Instead, during the height of this pandemic, Mr Gove used emergency contracts to commission political research on constitutional issues. Furthermore, he handed these lucrative contracts to long-time friends and former employees.

“I have long suspected that Mr Gove did not want the information surrounding secret polling made public – his decision to appeal the Tribunal’s ruling further enhances that suspicion. If he has nothing to hide, why does he feel the need to appeal?

“This UK government are hiding vital information from the general public – full transparency on how their money has been misspent is urgently required.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The decision from the tribunal can be found here -  https://mcusercontent.com/4fae14f57a18ee08253ffc251/files/66a62911-4e64-64df-8c88-830300d53470/012_110621_Decision.pdf