E-mails sent by a key Tony Blair aide about the legality of invading Iraq are to remain secret, it has been claimed.
Lord Goldsmith said war with Iraq was legal
The Sunday Times says Baroness Morgan, a former director of government relations, posted e-mails after meeting Attorney General Lord Goldsmith.
They were allegedly sent just before Lord Goldsmith ruled the war legal. Days earlier, he said an invasion could prompt international legal action.
The e-mails' recipient is unknown. Number 10 will not release details.
The newspaper says it used the Freedom of Information Act to make the request and will appeal against the refusal to the information commissioner.
It reports that senior government sources believe the e-mails contain a summary of arguments Downing Street was privately making to Lord Goldsmith.
Baroness Morgan and Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, are reported to have met the attorney general to discuss the war days after he said an invasion could cause legal problems.
The government says Lord Goldsmith was allowed to work without political interference from Downing Street in the 10 days between the release of his original and final legal advice.
Number 10 says the release of the e-mails is not in the public interest and is blocking their disclosure by saying they relate to the formulation of government policy.
Lord Goldsmith's final legal advice was leaked in the run-up to the general election.