08 February, 2007


The Evening Standard reports that Lord Goldsmith, Attorney General, the government's top legal official, has been pressured into agreeing to make public any advice he receives over cash for honours charges against individuals. Before getting tousled by MPs on Tuesday, he had refused to publish anything. Goldsmith also agreed

to demands by the Tories that he let opposition politicians help to chose an independent lawyer to advise him in the event that the Crown Prosecution wants to bring charges against Downing Street aides.
Such a major retreat, by the lawyer given his job and his peerage by the Prime Minister, looks like a prime example of a rat scurrying over the side of HMS Blair. The BBC has more, including a brewing row with deputy leader candidate, Harriet Harman, which may well rumble on for a few days.

As the Standard points out, Goldsmith's new openness is in sharp contrast with his refusal to publish either the first or second lots of advice he gave the Prime Minister over the "legality" of the invasion of Iraq. It has been widely reported (ie leaked) that Goldsmith first opined the invasion illegal but changed his mind under pressure from Blair. Wikipedia has links on the Iraq legal farrago.

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