Regular followers of this blog may recall FOI requests we’ve sent to numerous goovernment departments on the issue of MGM, mostly focusing on the demonstrable illegality of it. The responses were invariably full of weasel words and obfuscation, and when Theresa May MP was Home Secretary we had one or two such FOI responses.
We thought it was time for another FOI request, so on 2 November we emailed a letter to her appointed successor, Amber Rudd – here. After spelling out the evidence that MGM is clearly illegal in the UK, the letter ended with this:
My Freedom of Information request consists of the following:
- Do you accept that MGM is illegal in the UK? If not, what makes it legal?
2. If you accept MGM is illegal, why are the police not bringing prosecutions?
The deadline for the Home Office to respond to my FOI request was two days ago. In the absence of a response, I emailed them yesterday. This morning I received their response:
Thank you for your enquiry of 1 December about your Freedom of Information request.
Section 8(1)(c) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires that a request for information must describe the information requested. As it stands, your letter does not do this as you are asking for opinion rather than information held by the Home Office. [my emphasis] We are therefore refusing your request because it does not meet the requirements for a request for information under the Act.
The Department of Health leads on the issue of male circumcision. Your letter has been transferred there for an official reply.
Crime, Policing and Fire Group
2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF
Once again, and in common with other government departments, the Home Office – with its responsibility for the police – is not claiming that performing MGM is legal. This evening we’ll send another FOI to the Home Office, and one to the Department of Health.
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