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IC Wales

Minister defends lack of answers

Feb 24 2005

Daily Post

BUSINESS minister Jane Hutt yesterday defended the Assembly's commitment to openness after coming under attack over the Freedom of Information Act.

Tory Leader Nick Bourne said he was still awaiting a response to a question, placed under the terms of the Act, about the appointment of a new counsel-general.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats said they were also waiting for an answer to a separate question.

Ms Hutt said the Freedom of Information officer had received 283 requests to date and all questions would be dealt with in due course.

She added: "We are at the forefront in terms of openness in this government and that is something I am proud of."

The post of counsel-general, the Assembly's top legal position, has been empty since first minister Rhodri Morgan was embroiled in a row over the appointment last March.

Mr Morgan was criticised for vetoing the appointment of Gerard Elias QC, because he was a freemason and an advisor to an independent hunting authority.

Further Reading:

UK Freemasonry in the News, have the 'Brethren' finally met their Waterloo?