Leaked emails revealed that Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was told in August that available information should not be disclosed to the public and media.
Kinross & Render MD Sara Render said: ‘I think the advice was ill-conceived. It was not a good move. I’m surprised because it’s part of bog-standard PR to review weaknesses in the system that may result in a crisis. Then you take preventative measures.’
A Home Office spokesperson defended the way the department handled the situation after realising the extent of the problem: ‘The responsible thing to do was to establish the full nature and scale of the issue rather than put partial and potentially misleading information into the public domain.’