The Information Commissioner’s Office has given the trust until the end of the week to respond to allegations it withheld details about its links to Mermaids, requested by a parent under the Freedom of Information Act.
Failure to do so could see the matter referred to the High Court, where the trust could be fined if found to be in contempt of court.
The Tavistock and Portman Trust originally refused to provide the information under a section of the law which allows them to deny ‘requests which have the potential to cause a disproportionate or unjustified level of disruption, irritation or distress.’
But when this was questioned by the ICO, the trust claimed it did hold the information relating to the controversial charity, which has been accused of putting pressure on staff to transition children.
The ICO ruled ‘on the balance of probabilities’, the Trust does have relevant emails, The Telegraph reported, giving it a deadline to respond of face the courts.
Destroying, altering or erasing information requested after an FOI request is a criminal offence that could result in a fine.
Read More: Controversial NHS Tavistock transgender clinic is threatened with court action by watchdog after failing to reveal extent of relationship with trans charity Mermaids