Test for Brown over position on FOI

The Times reports that Gordon Brown has been asked to drop plans to restrict access to information because it could allow public bodies to avoid answering difficult questions. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton, has hinted that he wants to limit the Freedom of Information Act which many see as an attempt to stop MPs and journalists getting hold of government secrets.

Aides close to Gordon Brown have indicated that he is unlikely to support the introduction of restrictions of the public’s right to know, but no formal announcement has yet been made.

Maurice Frankel, the director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, said: “The Government has been trying to sabotage the Freedom of Information Act by restricting the right of access and supporting [the] Bill to exempt Parliament. Gordon Brown should tell ministers to stop gnashing their teeth and demonstrate that they are committed to and proud of their legislation.”

Brown urged not to curb information (Times Online, 24 June 2007)