Ministers need space in which to govern

"The Freedom of Information Act came into force yesterday, backed by promises that it would dispel the secrecy in Whitehall and introduce a new spirit of government openness. But the Government has ordered that personal emails and letters - even those relating to serious policy arguments - will be kept private."

Lord Falconer said: "Ministers should be able to correspond with each other and disagree with each other but that should not become public because you could always identify which minister disagreed with which policy - people accept you need that sort of space in which to govern."

Cabinet rows to be kept out of public eye: Files held by 100,000 public bodies opened up, as annual release of information under '30-year rule' ends (Independent on Sunday, 2 January 2005)