David Davis condemns Nick Clegg for failing to release information related to a grant received by a charity linked to his wife


As reported in the Mail on Sunday;

“Nick Clegg was accused last night of mounting a Whitehall cover-up over claims that he helped fast-track Government funds for a charity linked to his wife.

Senior Tory MP David Davis condemned Mr Clegg’s officials for citing ‘personal reasons’ to prevent the release of emails relating to a £12 million Government grant allocated to Booktrust last year.

The money was awarded after lobbying by one of Mr Clegg’s aides, who drew attention to the fact that Miriam Clegg had hosted a lavish function for the charity.

The representations by Matt Sanders led to the grant being awarded directly, without the need for Booktrust to compete with other charities.

A freedom of information request for emails sent by officials about the deal was blocked by the Cabinet Office, which claimed that publication would ‘prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs’.

The Mail on Sunday appealed to Information Commissioner Christopher Graham. Last week, after forcing the Cabinet Office to give him the correspondence, Mr Graham said he had asked officials to ‘clarify a number of points’ before he decides whether to order a release.

Cabinet Office officials then contacted The Mail on Sunday to say they were now arguing that publication should be withheld because the emails contained ‘personal data’.

A Whitehall source said: ‘The Lib Dems are doing everything they can to  stop this information coming out, giving reams of material  to the Commissioner and  brain-storming new reasons to block them.’

Mr Davis added: ‘This has all the hallmarks of a cover-up.’

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Booktrust.”