Liz Truss releases meetings with influential Brexit think tank removed from public register
- Credit: Twitter
Liz Truss has bowed to public pressure and released meetings she had with an influential pro-Brexit think tank which were removed from the public register.
Labour accused the trade secretary of performing a “shambolic” U-turn and claimed Truss had been caught trying to bypass rules to stop the “secret lobbying” of ministers.
In August, Truss was accused by Labour of burying connections with the pro-hard Brexit think tank Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) when she erased two meetings from a public register.
At the time, Truss insisted they were “personal” and had accidentally appeared on the trade department’s register due to an “administrative error”. Their removal was the first in the department’s history,
But on Thursday, a junior minister from Truss’ department wrote to Labour saying the meeting would now be reinstated on to the public record, Reuters has revealed.
You may also want to watch:
“The Secretary of state (Truss) was not immediately aware of these changes made at the end of August, and has now carefully considered the appropriate Cabinet Office guidelines,” Graham Stuart wrote in the letter.
“Sometimes it is not entirely clear-cut whether an event is ‘political’ or is independent of a minister’s official responsibilities. However, in the interests of full transparency, she has asked that these entries are to be reinstated as per the original departmental publication.”
- 1 Tory MP blames 'chaotic parents' for children going to school hungry
- 2 Boris Johnson 'hid in bedroom' to avoid grilling on Brexit stance days before becoming PM
- 3 Tory MP says policies no longer match 'principles on which millions have backed us'
- 4 George Osborne says it is 'game over' for Boris Johnson over free school meals
- 5 Danny Dyer praised for criticisms of Tory party - pointing out Etonians can't run the country
- 6 UKIP set to select 'Dr Gammons' as candidate for London mayoral election
- 7 Liz Truss' department slammed for false claim about cost of soy sauce after Brexit
- 8 Andy Burnham could have been 'halfway through tenure as PM by now', claims commentator
- 9 Minister sparks concerns about pig semen after Brexit
- 10 Liz Truss to deliver speech rejecting 'Britain First' strategy ahead of US election
Stuart said senior Labour figures had also failed to disclose meetings since 2016.
The IEA is seen as one of Britain’s most influential right-leaning think tanks and promotes a clean break from the EU.
Truss’ department did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
Shadow trade minster Emily Thornberry said the U-turn raised more questions than it answered.
“Behind this shambolic farce, there is a serious issue,” Thornberry told Reuters.
“The Cabinet Office rules exist to stop secret lobbying, dodgy dealing, and favours for cronies. Those rules are an important part of our democracy, and not for the first time, Liz Truss has been caught out apparently trying to get around them.”
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.