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Saturday, May 19, 2007

UK private members bill gets Parliament off FOI hook

The UK House of Commons voted on Friday to exclude the Houses of Parliament from the Freedom of Information Act (the Bill now goes to the House of Lords), and the Lord Chancellor told a media law conference that the Government plans to proceed with a proposal that will limit requests from the media.

All this is seen as a major blow set back for transparency and primarily designed to reduce access to information about MPs use of public money. The Daily Mail says it's a "dark day for democracy". Quentin Letts, in a a column headed: "Want to know how these graspers spend your money? Get stuffed!" says "Rarely has the seediness of our political cadre been so nakedly demonstrated".

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