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Scrap Ministerial veto on Freedom of Information- Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrats

March 16, 2009 10:00 AM

Ministers will lose the right to veto embarrassing documents being released through Freedom of Information, under proposals backed by local Liberal Democrats

Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrats are backing their party's "Freedom Bill" which seeks to restore liberties and strip away intrusive powers into privacy introduced by the Government, the Party says.

Plans for ID cards would be scrapped, and councils will be banned from using anti-terror laws to snoop on the public.

The pledge to abolish the ministerial veto on FOI requests follows anger over Justice Secretary Jack Straw's decision to stop minutes of key Cabinet meetings before the Iraq war being released.

Mr Straw overruled a decision of the Information Tribunal - an unprecedented use of his powers under the Freedom of Information Act - in a move attacked as "disgraceful" by MPs.

Michael Mullaney Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesman for Bosworth said "The Government's decision to invoke the ministerial veto was self-serving and wrong.

"Ministers have allowed themselves to be judge and jury in their own cause."

"With one small change after another over the last 20 years, the cumulative loss of civil liberties is huge.

"The Government has presided over the slow death by a thousand cuts of our hard-won British freedoms.

"Our forebears who fought so hard to establish our rights under the law would be shocked at what we have lost.

"The "Freedom Bill" the Liberal Democrats have published will repeal 20 years of attacks on our civil liberties from both Labour and Tory governments."