A few weeks back, readers may remember, the Information Commissioner ruled that where public servants used private email accounts to conduct public business, their messages were still subject to FOI. With this in mind I decided to ask the Met Office for Sir John Houghton's emails relating to the IPCC's Third Assessment Report. I copied my message to Sir John's email address at the John Ray Initiative - the evangelical programme which now appears to occupy much of his time.
Attentive students of the Climategate emails will have noticed that Sir John appeared to use a private email address for all of his work on this most controversial of reports.
A week or so ago, the Met Office replied.
I am writing to advise you that, following a search of our paper and electronic records, I have established that the information you requested is not held by the Met Office. Sir John Houghton has also confirmed that he does not hold private e-mails relevant to your request.
So it appears that Sir John has deleted historic records relating to his work on the Third Assessment Report - work that was funded by the UK taxpayer.