Remember how a private members bill by ex-tory whip David Maclean which sought to cover up MP’s expenses and insulate our elected representatives from freedom of information requests? Y’know the one that was heroically defeated by Lib Dem MP Norman Baker and a handful of MPs by talking it out for 5 hours. Then strangely (as in secretly backed by the govt and senior scumbags of all stripes) reappeared to be debated again this Friday. Well shit, what happened?-
A PARLIAMENTARY showdown over a Cumbrian MP’s bid to exempt the House of Commons from freedom of information laws was deferred at the eleventh hour. A controversial Bill granting MPs and peers immunity from the Freedom of Information Act had been expected to come before the Commons yesterday.
But in a surprise move, Penrith and the Border MP David Maclean’s Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill was dropped from the Order Paper for debate. Commons officials confirmed that the debate had been withdrawn until Friday May 18. Opponents of the measure suggested the former Tory chief whip had deferred it until after next week’s local authority elections to draft in more support.
They thought they had killed off the Bill after a marathon debate in the Commons last Friday, but a quirk of parliamentary procedure revived its chances. The government has insisted it has no position on the Bill, but its lack of opposition to date has been interpreted by some as tacit support.
Several ministers – including Tessa Jowell, Tony McNulty, Andy Burnham, Ian Pearson and John Healey – are reported to have voted for the legislation last Friday.-
Hmm, so the fight is deferred to mid-May because they perceive they have a better chance of slipping it through, motherfuckers. Eyes will be kept peeled.