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Conservatives to exempt MPs from Freedom of Information Act

May 17, 2007 9:00 PM

Andrew Simpson has criticised a bill to exempt MPs from the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoI), which is due to be debated in parliament this Friday.

Conservative MP David Maclean introduced the Private Members' Bill to exclude MPs from FoI, in a sinister move which appears to have the tacit consent of the government.

If successful, the bill will mean MPs no longer have to provide information on correspondence between their offices and public or private service providers to those constituents concerned.

Andrew said:

"The government have plenty of opportunities to stop Private Members' Bills proceeding through parliament. Despite having introduced this very positive piece of legislation in 2000, they seem to now be sitting on their hands and allowing it to be heard, just as civil liberties are coming under attack.

"It goes totally against the spirit of FoI to now try to exempt MPs from the same high standards of providing information to the public. The bill being debated on Friday sets a double standard for government and all other public services.

"The Liberal Democrats, led by Simon Hughes and Norman Baker, are campaigning very hard to stop this bill and make MPs answerable to their constituents. There is no justification for allowing a two-tier system to develop where there is one set of rules for politicians and another set of rules for everybody else. We must uphold and defend the highest standards."

For more information go to: http://www.libdems.org.uk/parliament/freedom-of-information-amendment-bill.html

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