Some of the most senior figures in the British establishment have secretly served as ‘privy councillors’ to a highly repressive dictatorship in the Gulf state of Oman. The elite UK group has included heads of MI6 and the military, a foreign minister, an oil executive, the ex-governor of the Bank of England and one of Queen Elizabeth’s closest aides.
The UK government refuses to provide information to Parliament about the role of the military’s special forces in overseas wars, routinely claiming this is a ‘long-standing policy’ – but new research finds this was invented in the late 1980s to deepen the culture of secrecy in Whitehall.
A new book, revealing abuses by the British army in its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, illustrates how the Ministry of Defence and the military establishment try to censor, bully and threaten publishers and journalists, often successfully.
After Declassified UK’s revelation that Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), known as MI6, ‘misled’ two inquiries into the arrest of a suspected British terrorist in Kenya, Richard Norton-Taylor outlines the long history of MI6 operating outside of democratic control.
by RICHARD NORTON-TAYLOR | 1 September 2020
Coronavirus is diverting attention away from an unprecedented but under-reported threat. Official secrecy, incompetence and lack of accountability in Whitehall are combining with government cronyism to represent an assault on the rule of law and Britain’s parliamentary democracy.
The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Justice is blocking the release of basic information about the judge who is to rule on Julian Assange’s extradition to the US in what appears to be an irregular application of the Freedom of Information Act, it can be revealed.
Thousands of historic British government files censored after ‘independent’ watchdog approves over 99% of secrecy requests
British diplomatic files about Saudi Arabia and mercenaries are among over 6,000 documents recently censored from the National Archives – by an ‘independent’ oversight panel containing former spies and government officials.
by MATT KENNARD | 14 July 2020
The Conservative government gave more than £80,000 to a right-wing lobby group which has paid thousands of pounds in benefits to Priti Patel, now home secretary, and Michael Gove, now cabinet office minister, it can be revealed.
With coronavirus killing tens of thousands of Britons, the government’s poor response to the crisis shows that the UK’s current form of ‘democracy’ cannot protect the public. The ‘Westminster model’ was developed to promote unregulated economic growth and prevent the public from real participation in how society is run.
by RICHARD NORTON-TAYLOR | 5 March 2020