MPs in the House of Commons voted on Friday of last week to exempt themselves from the Freedom of Information Act that gives the public the right to access information from public bodies.
Some 96 MPs from both Labour and the Conservatives voted for a bill to amend the act by removing MPs’ correspondence from the act’s remit. The bill was introduced by a backbench Tory MP, but is tacitly supported by both Labour and the Tories.
Respect MP George Galloway was one of only 25 MPs to vote against the changes. “The arrogance that has characterised the Tony Blair years looks certain to continue under Gordon Brown,” he told Socialist Worker.
“The pathetic sight of MPs – most of them Labour and many of them Brown supporters – placing themselves above the law will cause justifiable outrage.”
Among those voting to exempt themselves from the information law were Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar & Canning Town in east London, and Khalid Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Perry Barr.
Both are target seats for Respect, said George Galloway, and Respect activists in those areas will be bringing the way the MPs had voted to the attention of their constituents.