Bill to exempt MPs from FOI runs out of time

There was more good news for press freedom campaigners this week after a bill to exclude MPs from the Freedom of Information Act ran out of time as the parliamentary session closed.

It follows news last week that Prime Minister Gordon Brown was scrapping proposals to drastically water down the Freedom of Information Act and give coroners new secrecy powers.

In a wide-ranging civil liberties speech, Brown also backed self-regulation of the press and outlined proposals to broaden FoI and reduce the 30-year secrecy rule on sensitive Government documents.

Although an FoI exemption for MPs is now shelved, Justice Secretary Jack Straw has said public bodies are not to release MPs’ constituency correspondence to journalists other than in exceptional circumstances.

FoI boost as MP Bill falls (Press Gazette, 1 November 2007)