BORIS JOHNSON MP
Freedom of Information Amendment Bill
Commons 3rd Reading Closure Motion – Ayes: 117 Noes: 22
The House of Commons has voted on the Closure Motion for the 3rd Reading of this controversial Private Member’s Bill, which seeks to de-list the House of Commons and the House of Lords from the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which currently applies to them. It now goes to the Lords.
The Bill frequently refers to the ‘complex’ relationship between the Freedom of Information Act, the Data Protection Act 1998, and Parliamentary privilege. But Boris finds, not for the first time, that existing laws are adequate. While there may be scope for fine-tuning, he believes they already offer a fair balance between the privacy of the individual and the public’s right to know about Parliamentary business.
‘We are continually shooting ourselves in the foot, and the public will look at this and think all we are trying to do is protect ourselves from rules that, after all, apply to everybody else. It is quite wrong. Of course constituents have a right to privacy, but that is in any case assured by data protection rules.’