Responding to the Scottish Information Commissioner's statement this afternoon, James McEnaney, RISE education spokesperson, said:

"Today's statement confirms that the SIC delayed publishing a decision on my appeal because of the potential political consequences of that appeal.

"In doing so, the SIC has acted politically, effectively shielding the Scottish Government from criticism.

"As has been established, purdah rules are irrelevant to the SIC. They do not apply. And simply being seen to be impartial is not a good enough reason to delay publishing information clearly relevant to the public interest.

"The SIC does not seem to understand that impartiality works two ways. By protecting the Government from the release of damaging information - and therefore trying to void accusations of 'bias' - Rosemary Agnew is keeping voters in the dark. She is restricting their ability to make a fully informed choice ahead of the election.

"That is against the spirit and the letter of Freedom of Information legislation. Indeed, it defeats the very point of that legislation.

"The SIC has attributed this controversy to a single badly worded email. But today's statement confirms beyond all doubt that the problem extends well beyond miscommunication.

"We now know that the SIC is basing some its decisions, and the timing of the release of those decisions, on political - not public interest - grounds.

"She has also acknowledged that she delayed three decisions during the independence referendum purdah period on the same basis.

"This is not only completely unsatisfactory, it is deeply worrying, and calls into question the role of the SIC.

"Importantly, we can now also be fairly certain that the contents of my appeal, which relates to the Government's policy on national standardised testing, are very significant.

"We hope that the SIC will make those contents known quickly."