The Metropolitan Police appears to have lost Lord Stevens’ diary, containing crucial information for the ongoing Leveson Inquiry into the illegal practices at Murdoch’s News International, the Telegraph and the Independent report.
According to the newspapers, the disappearance of the former Met Commissioner’s diary was revealed after a FoIA request by Ian Hurst, a core participant in the inquiry.
Hurst, a former British Army intelligence officer who used to handle IRA informers in Northern Ireland, has sued the News of the World claiming the company hired private detectives to hack into his computer and access information relating to his communication with a senior informer.
More precisely, Hurst believes Alex Marunchak, a former editor of the NOTW’s Ireland edition, had ordered the hacking of his email communication. The FoIA request filed was related to any possible meetings between two former Commissioners, Lord Stevens and Sir Ian Blair with Mr Marunchak, from to 2000 to 2011.
Although there were no recorded meetings between the NOTW editor and Sir Ian, Lord Steven’s appointments diary was nowhere to be found.
The Information Commissioner’s Office is currently investigating the missing diaries and confirms they cover the period 2000 to 2005 when Lord Stevens was head of the Met.
The Independent reports this is the first time the ICO has had to deal with such an important disappearance of publicly archived information.
Downing Street refuses Guardian’s request about Andy Coulson
The Guardian’s FoIA request to Downing Street about former News of the World editor and Conservative director of communications Andy Coulson has been refused. The request asked why Coulson was allowed to bypass standard background security checks when he was hired but Downing Street have claimed there is “no recorded information” related to the decision.
The newspaper also reports that No 10 has repeatedly refused to answer directly questions about Coulson’s role in security, military and diplomatic matters during his work in the government. The paper has appealed for an internal review of its FoIA request which is currently under way.
Dozens of pregnant soldiers leave warzones
A total of 64 female UK troops have left Afghanistan’s warzone due to pregnancy since 2003 according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act. The Sun reports that even though there is no specific misconduct charge related to pregnancy, Ministry of Defence officials do not approve of sexual relations between UK troops.