Lord Hutton, the peer who chaired the Hutton Inquiry into the Dr Kelly scandal, has secretly barred the release of all medical records, including the results of the post-mortem and unpublished evidence. The records will be kept under wraps for up to 70 years.
Dr Michael Powers QC, a doctor campaigning to overturn the Hutton findings, said," What is it about David Kelly's death which is so secret as to justify these reports being kept out of the public domain for 70 years?"
The normal rules on post-mortems allow close relatives and 'properly interested persons' to apply to see a copy of the report and to 'inspect' other documents.
Lord Hutton's measure has overridden these rules, so the files will not be opened until all people are likely to be dead.
Last night the Ministry of Justice was unable to explain the legal basis for Lord Hutton's order. Unable to explain? The Prime Minister should be called to explain the reasons in the House of Commons. Then again, with a report like this published this weekend, it wouldn't surprise me if Gordon Brown has more 'urgent' matters which require his attention.