Sir Julian Lewis: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 18 July 2023 to Question 193280 on Earl Mountbatten of Burma: Diaries, how much his Department spent on (a) barristers and (b) other lawyers as part of the (i) litigation related to the First-tier Tribunal and (ii) freedom of information requests made by Dr Andrew Lownie on the Mountbatten diaries and letters. 
[Due for Answer on 4 September]
The Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Alex Burghart): The Cabinet Office has worked with the University of Southampton to support the release of the Mountbatten archive, whilst ensuring sensitive and official information is handled appropriately and in line with the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Act. Dr Lownie lost his appeal against the Cabinet Office, but continued to seek costs in a separate application. This application was rejected by the First Tier Tribunal and permission to appeal at the Upper Tribunal was also rejected.
The final legal costs relating to the First Tier Tribunal hearings and associated litigation regarding this archive are £180,454. This relates to 5 appeals EA/2020/0021, EA/2020/0026, EA/2020/0058, EA/2020/0059 and EA/2021/0125 as well as a further 5 related appeals and application to seek costs including UA-2022-001422, 001425, 001427, 001428 and 001429-GIA. These costs include those incurred by the Cabinet Office for external legal counsel and work by the Government Legal Department.
The cost of officials’ time, including Cabinet Office legal advisers’, is not recorded against each Freedom of Information request.