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NHS reform risk report stays secret

Ministers are to veto the publication of an internal risk assessment of the Government's highly contentious NHS reforms, it has been announced.

The move to defy a ruling by the Information Tribunal that the risk register should be released under the Freedom of Information Act was agreed by the Cabinet.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said he believed in "greater transparency" but that it was also essential to retain "a safe space where officials are able to give ministers full and frank advice in developing policies and programmes".

"Had we not taken this decision, it is highly likely that future sensitive risk registers would turn into anodyne documents, and be worded quite differently with civil servants worrying about how they sound to the public rather than giving ministers frank policy advice," he said in a statement.