The Daily Mail has been running hard this week on the issue of whether or not the British Government asked for help from the US Government to cover up the alleged torture of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident at Guantanamo Bay.

It ran this article this morning and now the paper’s website has published a piece by shadow foreign secretary William Hague, detailing the issues on which he says David Miliband has questions to answer.

Here are the key excerpts:

"First, it was the Foreign Secretary who stopped the Courts publishing seven paragraphs containing details of the alleged torture on grounds that this would harm intelligence-sharing and so threaten UK security. But his argument is undermined by claims that the letter from the Bush administration backing up this assertion was actually solicited by the Foreign Office. It is very important that we get clear answers about why this was done.

"Second, until very recently the US government said that Binyam Mohamed could not be released because he posed a significant threat. The British Government is now committed to bringing him to Britain, but has still not explained how they have resolved these security concerns and under what terms and arrangements Mr Mohamed would live in the UK.

"And third, despite the fact that we have repeatedly asked them to do so, the government have not asked the Obama administration to allow the paragraphs to be published. There seems no reasonable explanation for this, since the High Court ruled that nothing in these short paragraphs could possibly be described as highly sensitive classified US intelligence. This reluctance by the Foreign Secretary contributes to the impression that the Government does not wish to see the information come to light.

"The British Government’s role in this damaging episode must be made clear, to restore trust and to ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again."

Jonathan Isaby

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