Skip to main content

Dr Andrew Lownie FRHistS and the Mountbatten Diaries

EDM (Early Day Motion) 671: tabled on 05 December 2022

Tabled in the 2022-23 session.

This motion has been signed by 7 Members. It has not yet had any amendments submitted.

Motion text

That this House welcomes the fact that three days after Early Day Motion 338 on the Mountbatten Diaries was published in July 2021, almost all of the material withheld from public access began to be disclosed online; notes that this was the direct result of a six-year campaign by the accomplished biographer, Andrew Lownie, with the support of the Information Commissioner’s Office; deplores the fact that, in order to achieve this result, Dr Lownie had to accumulate legal costs approaching half-a-million pounds on account of protracted Cabinet Office resistance to the release of material almost all of which was known to be innocuous; notes that the Mountbatten Diaries had been purchased from the Broadlands Archive with public money and that very large further sums were spent by the Cabinet Office and Southampton University on their legal fight against disclosure; views it as oppressive and reprehensible that a distinguished historian should face severe financial loss under such circumstances; and consequently calls on the Cabinet Office to reimburse the legal costs which its unnecessary obstructiveness caused him to incur.