I think this has snuck under the radar. Under the Counter Terrorism Bill 2008, the Home Secretary can order that an inquest should not be made public and should not have a jury. That will mean the media will be excluded as well. He can so certify if the inquest involves materials that he thinks should be kept private because of: - public interest, or - national security, or - international relations This is Clause 64 of the bill. Everyone has their eye on the 42 day extension. This will therefore, as it stands, almost certainly be passed without so much as a squeak of protest from MPs. I cannot help but link this to Des Brownes dictat for coroners to be less critical. He was told to wind his neck in then, but if this bill is passed, then all he has to do is to ask the home secretary to make the inquest private. Looking at the way the clause is framed, I cannot see how the home secretary's decision can easily be challenged. He is empowered to make inquests private for any number of awfully broad reasons. Am I just being cynical or have I stumbled upon something here?* The Bill --> http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmbills/063/2008063.pdf *actually, I heard about it on, of all places, Bremner, Bird and Fortune on Sunday.