LONDON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- The British government has promised to reconsider whether to release the advice of the attorney general on the legality of the Iraq invasion.
Downing Street has consistently refused to disclose Lord Peter Goldsmith's advice. However, following a parliamentary row last week over allegations it was in fact drafted by two Downing Street advisers, No. 10 now says it will review the decision and announce a conclusion by March 11, the Guardian newspaper reported Monday.
Ministers have been forced into authorizing a high-level review by numerous requests submitted under the Freedom of Information Act, which came into force in January. Under the act, the government is required to carry out reviews after appeals against refusals.
Unless ministers make a disclosure, they will face a full investigation by the information commissioner, Richard Thomas, in March.
Documents that have also been requested include the resignation letter by the Foreign Office lawyer Elizabeth Wilmshurst, which insiders have said shows Goldsmith's original view was that the invasion would be wrong under international law.
After Lord Goldsmith held discussions with White House lawyers and with No 10 advisers, it is alleged he was persuaded to change his mind.