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Foster urged to act against plot to conceal MP expenses

January 20, 2009

money460Nick Perry, Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner for Hastings & Rye has called on Labour MP Michael Foster to vote against the Government’s Freedom of Information (Parliament) Order on Thursday of this week.

Nick said, “I have only just become aware of this Order which, I gather, was published in draft by the Government on Thursday last week, and is to be voted on in two days’ time.

“From the information I have read from the Unlock Democracy campaign, this Order seeks to remove parliamentarians from scrutiny under the Freedom of Information Act.

“Particularly, it seeks to ‘change the scope of the application of the [Freedom of Information] Act in relation to information held by the House of Commons and House of Lords regarding expenditure in respect of Members of both Houses. This includes information held by either House about expenses claimed by and allowances paid to Members.’

“I am horrified not only with the central premise of the order, but with the attempt of the Government to rush it through.

Campaign group Unlock Democracy has said in its press release today:

‘The Government is planning to put us all on a national identity database, force us to carry identity cards, keep the DNA of millions of innocent people on a database and to read all our emails, phone and internet records regardless of whether we are supposed to have done anything wrong. Their argument is always if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Why, then, is it one rule for us and another rule for politicians?’

Nick has challenged the MP to act:

“I recall that this ‘nothing to hide’ line was your own justification of the DNA database and other Government plans at a Hastings Against War meeting last year. Can I now have your assurance that you will be attending on Thursday, and voting against this Order?”

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