Why secrecy over spin doctor appointment, asks legal expert

Joshua Rozenberg said he tried, and failed, to find a copy of the order on any website

Joshua Rozenberg said he tried, and failed, to find a copy of the order on any website

The UK’s pre-eminent legal commentator has questioned the secrecy surrounding the change to the law which led to David Gordon being appointed as the Executive’s press secretary.

In an article on his Facebook page, Joshua Rozenberg said that the “curious story” was “one that deserves a wider audience”.

Despite Martin McGuinness denying that there had been any secrecy surrounding the new spin doctor’s appointment, even Mr Rozenberg – a veteran lawyer who was recently made a QC – said that he could not find a copy of the order on any website.

Mr Rozenberg – who appeared on Monday’s Nolan Show to discuss the issue – said: “Should a government press secretary be a political appointee?

“Or should the appointment go to a neutral civil servant?

“These are matters of legitimate political debate.

“The problem in Northern Ireland is that the legislation was made without any such discussion.

“Nobody knew about it until the weekend.”

Mr Rozenberg, the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Law in Action, added: “Although the order was made more than 10 days ago, I could not find a copy on any official website over the weekend.

“It is not good enough for the Northern Ireland Executive Office to say they had supplied a copy to any media outlet that requested it.

“The order should have been published as soon as it was made. What was there to hide?”