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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

WIDER LAW Media unites to attack government FoI changes

A major chunk of wider law which has empowered the media could face radical dilution under government proposals. An unusually wide alliance of media organisations have registered their concerns over this.

Maurice Frankel, director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, which has fought for greater openness for over 20 years, said he feared the government’s supposedly independent commission was made up of people, such as former government minister Jack Straw, who are known to believe that there should be more exemptions under FoI.  
“If we don’t do something about it, the act is going to be seriously restricted,” he told the SoE meeting. The campaign group is to hold a briefing on Wednesday to discuss how best to fight government attempts to introduce more restrictions. 
Asked about the government’s review of the FoI earlier on Monday, John Whittingdale, the culture secretary, denied that the current review meant that it would be overturned. 
“[In the same way] everyone thinks I am going to abolish the BBC just because I am going to look at how it works after 10 years,” he said. 

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