On 12th May, Angela Rayner accused the government of a “cover-up” after they released redacted documents relating to Evgeny Lebedev’s peerage. The government had been forced to release the documents after Labour used an opposition day in the Commons to issue a humble address, a key tool of the opposition discovered during the Brexit disputes. Responding to the redaction, Rayner told the press:
“This looks like a cover-up and smells like a cover-up because it is a cover-up. If the Prime Minister is claiming he was not involved in forcing through the award of a peerage to an individual of concern to our intelligence services, he should come clean and publish the documents as parliament instructed.
“The government has not provided a single piece of information in these heavily redacted documents, failing to comply with a direct instruction from parliament. The government is once again seeking to hide in the shadows from the sunlight of scrutiny. We will take steps to rectify this contempt of parliament.
Now, however, it seems Labour we’re not really that interested after all. A letter published from Speaker Lindsay Hoyle to Michael Ellis this afternoon says the minister will be aware that members have “expressed concerns” about the redactions, however notes “no such complaints have been made”.
He does warn the Cabinet Office that this doesn’t mean the “Government has a right to supply only the information it pleases”. Turns out Rayner wasn’t that bothered to apply the “sunlight of scrunity” after all…