TEXT OF EARLY DAY MOTION
Freedom of Information (Parliament) Order 2009
Primary Sponsor: Jo Swinson (LD, East Dunbartonshire)
That this House notes with concern the provisions in the Freedom of Information (Parliament) Order 2009 to exempt remove the expenses of Members of Parliament and Peers from the scope of the Freedom of Information Act’; notes that this order will single out MPs and Peers in a special category as the only paid public officials who will note have to disclose full details of their expenses; notes with concern the regressive effect of this Order on Parliamentary transparency and the detrimental impact it will have on Parliament in the eyes of the public; calls on Ministers to block or repeal the Order in the interest of MPs’ and Peers’ accountability to members of the public.
Unfortunately, I am unable to verify this EDM, as it does not yet appear on the Parliament EDM website. As such, I am also unable to see who has signed it, but I am sure that Douglas Carswell will be leaping in there with gusto. Eh, Douglas?
As Quaequam blog points out, there is also a letter-writing campaign being launched but it needs to be done very swiftly so, please, send that email...
UPDATE: here's your humble Devil's missive to Keith Hill MP. I'm not sure that it strikes the right note, but never mind (he has, after all, maintained that he will not enter into any more correspondence with me).
Dear Keith Hill,
As you are no doubt aware, a statutory instrument known as Freedom of Information (Parliament) Order will shortly be passing through the House.
As you are also no doubt aware, this instrument will allow MPs and Peers an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act, and thus allow them to hide aspects of their expenses claims.
Naturally, I cannot understand why MPs and Peers should wish to do this for, as numerous Home Secretaries have assured us, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.
Nevertheless, I imagine that you are as shocked as I at this deliberate attempt to conceal from taxpayers the manner and the matter in which their money is being spent.
As such, I would urge you to sign the EDM—Freedom of Information (Parliament) Order 2009, sponsored by Jo Swinson—which proposes a solid opposition to this statutory instrument.
I am sure that you—as a member of the Labour government which introduced the FoI Act in the first place—place as much value on the transparency of our democracy as I, and I look forward to seeing your name upon the list of signatories.
I couldn't be any more polite now, could I?