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Brake's Freedom of Information (Amendment) (no2) Bill Aims for Tougher FOI laws

June 15, 2007 10:15 AM

In his hard-hitting ten minute rule Bill on Tuesday, Liberal Democrat Tom Brake MP made the case for tougher Freedom of Information (FOI) laws.

Speaking during the debate, Tom Brake said, "Members of this House-those who were whipped into voting for the Bill [David Maclean's Bill] and those who failed to anticipate the skulduggery and subterfuge in which Front Benchers were willing to connive that Friday-have an opportunity to repair some of the damage caused by that capricious and self-serving vote- [by supporting the Freedom of Information (Amendment) (No 2) Bill]"

The Freedom of Information (Amendment) (No 2) Bill, which was sponsored by key FOI campaigners Norman Baker MP and Simon Hughes MP, sought to remove the veto which allows ministers to overrule the Information Commissioner and Information Tribunal. It also sought to introduce a time limit for responses to public interest FOI requests.

In a separate clause, the Bill aimed to bring school academies and large private contractors working for public authorities within the scope of the FOI legislation.

Mr Brake's passionate defence of FOI earned a rebuke from the Speaker who requested that he moderate his language.

Mr Brake's Bill will be read a second time on Friday but is unlikely to become law.

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