New Forest East



EDM 338 – 19 July 2021


[This EDM was tabled jointly with Sammy Wilson, Sir John Redwood,  John Nicolson, Sarah Olney and Valerie Vaz. It was eventually supported by 23 MPs. Most of the withheld Diaries were published online three days after this EDM appeared.]

That this House notes with concern that the personal diaries of Lord and Lady Mountbatten were purchased from the family's Broadlands Archive Trust, a decade ago, by Southampton University with a substantial sum of public money including almost £2 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund; that, until the sale to the University, the Mountbatten family had made the diaries available to historians upon request; that Lady Mountbatten was never a public servant and consequently her writings are not subject to Freedom of Information restrictions; that in December 2019 the Information Commissioner's Office ordered the University to disclose the Mountbatten diaries and correspondence; that this continues to be resisted at the apparent direction of the Cabinet Office, citing FOI exemptions but refusing to identify the criteria relevant to the Mountbatten diaries; that it is 42 years since the death of Lord Mountbatten and 61 years since that of Lady Mountbatten; that it is deeply regrettable that their distinguished biographer, Dr Andrew Lownie, has so far had to pay £250,000 pursuing a campaign for the diaries' release to historians; and accordingly calls for their disclosure for publication without further obfuscation and delay.