Defence Secretary accused of "Cold War thinking" after refusing to disclose information

Bruce George, Labour chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, has challenged Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, to publish the minutes of the Army Board meetings that led to the decision to merge six Scots regiments into a single five-battalion super-regiment.

Mr Hoon said the minutes of the six Army Board meetings on the restructuring plans would not be given to MPs. Nor would they be disclosed to the public under the new Freedom of Information Act, since ministers have chosen to exempt them from the law. "They are in the form of advice to ministers, they are clearly covered by the exemption," said Mr Hoon.

An enraged Mr George stated "This is the kind of answer the chief of Soviet General Staff would have given," the chairman said, accusing Mr Hoon of "Cold War thinking".

'Soviet' Hoon refuses to give minutes on regiment cuts (The Scotsman, 13 January 2005)