Mid Staffordshire foundation trust has defied ministers by refusing to publish an independent report on its former chief executive.

Former Department of Health official Peter Garland’s report was handed to the trust before Martin Yeates resigned in May.

The trust has refused a request for the report to be released under the Freedom of Information Act despite former health secretary Alan Johnson asking for publication.

The trust said it was not required to publish it for several reasons, one being that it included information “of a particularly personal nature, relating to Mr Yeates’ conduct and performance as a trust employee”. It said the report was provided confidentially and releasing it would make it more difficult to carry out similar investigations.

Earlier this month then health minister Ben Bradshaw told MPs it was “not in our power” to force publication but that Mr Johnson had “written to the board requesting that they publish it”.

A DH spokeswoman confirmed it could only be published with the trust’s permission.

Foundation trust regulator Monitor, which also has a copy of the report, refused a freedom of information request on the basis that it would be an “actionable breach of [the trust’s] confidence”.