The BBC reported yesterday that an online petition calling for cabinet papers relating to the Hillsborough disaster to be released had collected 100,000 signatures, which is the amount required for the issue to be considered for a debate in parliament.
This number has continued to rise and is currently over the 120,000 mark.
The papers in question are said to contain details of conversations involving former prime minister Margaret Thatcher about the Hillsborough disaster. The BBC originally requested that the papers be released through a freedom of information request two years ago.
Last month the information commissioner Sir Christopher Graham ruled that there was a public interest in the information being released. It also accused the authority of an “excessive delay” in responding to the original request, which was then to deny the release of the information under a series of exemptions.
The Cabinet Office has since appealed the decision, the BBC reports in this article.
Trinity Mirror Regional’s head of multimedia David Higgerson blogs here about the potential impact of the ultimate decision on the government’s claims of transparency and openness.
… it’s only by seeing the documents in full that we’ll know the current government believes in true openness – an openness where the agenda is set by the public, not by the civil servants.