Right to information threatened by parliamentary bill

first_img Solidarity with Swedish media outlet Realtid ahead of UK defamation case hearing News Help by sharing this information United KingdomEurope – Central Asia News Reporters Without Borders deplores a measure passed by the British parliament limiting access to information about MPs’ expenses. News Follow the news on United Kingdom RSF_en Receive email alerts February 12, 2021 Find out more May 25, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Right to information threatened by parliamentary bill News Reporters Without Borders today strongly condemned the British parliament’s approval of amendments to the Freedom of Information Act, including one that would bar access to details of MPs’ expenses. “If these measures become law, it would be a setback,” the press freedom organisation said. “Access to information is a basic principle of democracy and for MPs to hide details of their spending is a serious blow to the public’s right to be informed. The motives for such a move are unacceptable.”The bill, introduced by Conservative MP David Maclean and passed by the House of Commons (the elected lower house of parliament) on 18 May, remains to be approved by the House of Lords (the unelected upper chamber). Despite strong opposition led by Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes, the measure could soon become law, on grounds that it is needed to protect the privacy of MPs’ correspondence.Critics accuse MPs of trying to hide excessive spending. Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker said after the Commons vote that it was a “terrible day” for parliamentary democracy and that he was “ashamed to be an MP.” The Freedom of Information Act, which came into effect in January 2005, allows the public and the media access to most information held by the authorities and has enabled the media to obtain hitherto inaccessible information. Safety of journalists remains active concern in Northern Ireland as BBC Panorama team is threatened Organisation RSF condemns BBC broadcast ban as example of Chinese government reprisal to go further March 23, 2021 Find out more United KingdomEurope – Central Asia February 11, 2021 Find out morelast_img