Miliband to exempt Sellafield firms from FoI Act

Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change secretary, is to exempt from the Freedom of Information Act the new US-led private consortia taking over the running of Britain's biggest nuclear facility at Sellafield next Monday.

The move comes on top of a decision by Malcolm Wicks, the former energy minister, to make the taxpayer liable for any accidents at Sellafield, which is in Cumbria, exempting the firm from the national requirement to pay the first £140m of any bill for leaks or radioactive contamination.

It comes as the Speaker of the Commons has granted an emergency debate on Wednesday to Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West, who is demanding an explanation of why Wicks broke parliamentary procedures in rushing through the exemption from liabilities for the new consortia.

Wicks used emergency procedures to inform Edward Leigh, the chairman of the Commons public accounts committee, of the proposals, and told MPs the documents had been put in the House of Commons library.

Ed Miliband to exempt Sellafield firms from Freedom of Information Act (Guardian Unlimited, 17 November 2008)