Dis letters to UK government will be kept secret

February 19th, 2009 - 12:39 pm ICT by ANI  

Princess Diana

London, Feb 19 (ANI): The series of private letters between late Princess Diana and the British Government will be kept under wraps, the Information Commissioner has ruled.

The letters from the Princess of Wales to John Major, the former Prime Minister, and Tony Blair, his successor, were considered to be too private to be published under the Freedom of Information Act.

Royal Family members are exempt from the Freedom of Information legislation, however, individual cases can be challenged on public interest grounds, reports the Telegraph.

The Office of the Information Commissioner said the letters were of a “personal nature” and not related to government policy.

The princess died in 1997 when the car in which she was travelling crashed in a Paris tunnel.

The Cabinet Office published seven telegrams from the princess to prime ministers of the day thanking them for birthday wishes, but all further correspondence was withheld on the grounds that it fell inside the exemption.

A further review by the Cabinet Office upheld this decision to keep the correspondence secret, stating that the public interest in not releasing it “outweighed” any gained by making it freely available.

In a statement the ICO said: “It is important to draw a clear distinction between matters of public interest and matters about which the public may be merely curious.” (ANI)

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