Trust it to be a former journalist to find a way to remove himself from the Freedom of Information Act once he became a government minister. The Financial Times has a worrying story today, claiming education secretary Michael Gove had instructed people to contact him via a Googlemail account rather than his official party or Department for Education email account.
Why might he do this? Well, there’s a suspicion it’s to ensure that email discussions he has can’t be subject to FOI. As a private email account, presumably FOI officers at the DfE can’t audit what is being sent and received on that account.
An email seen by the FT seems to be damning:
“i will only answer things that come from gmail accounts from people who i know who they are. i suggest that you do the same in general but thats obv up to you guys – i can explain in person the reason for this … ”
A DfE spokesman said: “The permanent secretary believes that the Secretary of State and Special Advisers act within the law.”