Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill — Exempt constituents' letters only — rejected — 18 May 2007 at 11:30
Stuart Bell MP, Middlesbrough voted with the majority (No).
The majority of MPs voted against changing the proposed Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill (designed to remove Parliament and MPs from the power of the Freedom of Information Act 2000) so that the exemption for MPs' correspondence applied only to constituents' letters.
The vote to keep this section was made in Division 120
- For the purposes of section 41(1), information which—
- is held only by virtue of being contained in a communication between a member of the House of Commons, acting in his capacity as such, or a member of the House of Lords, and a public authority, and
- in the case of a member of the House of Commons, consists of information relating to the personal affairs of a constituent of that member,
- shall, unless the contrary is indicated, be deemed to have been communicated in circumstances importing an obligation of confidence.
Like the votes during the previous debate, Division 94 and Division 95, this proposed change tested the official reason given for this change in the law by targeting it at that reason (confidentiality of constituency business) more specifically.
When a question was raised about the subsequent lack of progress of this Bill through the House of Lords, the Leader of the House correctly pointed out that correspondence relating to constituents was already exempt from disclosure.
The next move during the debate was the break the filibuster in Division 122
-  MPs make themselves exempt from FOI, The Times, 18 May 2007.
-  Martin Salter MP, House of Commons, 14 June 2007
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||21 (+1 tell)||5||0||13.8%|
|Lab||75 (+1 tell)||12||0||25.0%|
|LDem||0||13 (+2 tell)||0||23.8%|
|James Clappison||Hertsmere||Con (front bench)||aye|
|Philip Hollobone||Kettering||Con (front bench)||aye|
|John Maples||Stratford-on-Avon||Con (front bench)||aye|
|Richard Shepherd||Aldridge-Brownhills||Con (front bench)||aye|
|Jeremy Corbyn||Islington North||Lab||aye|
|Jim Cousins||Newcastle upon Tyne Central||Lab (minister)||aye|
|Mark Fisher||Stoke-on-Trent Central||Lab||aye|
|Neil Gerrard||Walthamstow||Lab (minister)||aye|
|Glenda Jackson||Hampstead and Highgate||Lab||aye|
|Gerald Kaufman||Manchester, Gorton||Lab (minister)||aye|
|Fiona Mactaggart||Slough||Lab (minister)||aye|
|Dan Norris||Wansdyke||Lab (minister)||aye|
|Barry Sheerman||Huddersfield||Lab (minister)||aye|
|Peter Soulsby||Leicester South||Lab (minister)||aye|
|David Winnick||Walsall North||Lab (minister)||aye|