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ONS to stop giving ministers preferential access to official data

The Office for National Statistics will no longer allow government ministers and officials to see data ahead of publication, after a string of suspicious market movements ahead of data releases was reported.

Pre-release access to ONS statistics will cease from 1 July, national statistician John Pullinger said in a letter to David Norgrove, who chairs the UK Statistics Authority.

In the letter dated 15 June, Pullinger noted that allowing government ministers early access to ONS statistics was undermining trust, which has led him to propose to reduce the number of people who can see the data before they were publicly released. Should there be a need allow exceptional pre-release access, it will have to be fully transparent, he added.

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