As the first person to call for an independent inquiry into 'climategate', I regret that what has been announced today is defective in a number of ways. The inquiry will wholly lack transparency, with the hearings held in private, and no transcripts to be published.
The terms of reference, while better than nothing, are inadequate in a number of ways, not least the failure to include the question of the efforts made by CRU scientists to prevent the publication of papers by dissenting scientists and others, contrary to the canons of scientific integrity. And the objectivity and independence of the inquiry is seriously called into question by the composition of Sir Muir Russell's team, in particular the Editor in Chief of Nature, who has already published an editorial on the matter strongly supportive of the CRU scientists and accusing their critics of being 'paranoid'.
We will, of course, suspend final judgment until we see the report of the inquiry.
Nigel Lawson, Chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation