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New FOI legislation attempt due

A new parliamentary bill to amend the Freedom of Information Act is due to be introduced under the Ten Minute Rule in the House of commons tomorrow.

Tom Brake MP is set to introduce the Freedom of Information (Amendment) (No2) Bill, which would remove ministers’ power to veto decisions of the information commissioner.

His Private Members’ Bill will also limit the time by which public authorities can extend their 20 day limit for replies involving considering the public interest.

The Ten Minute Rule allows a brief speech in favour of the bill by the member introducing it. It also allows a speech by a member opposing the motion.

Bills introduced under Standing Order 23 – otherwise known as the Ten Minute Rule – are not always serious attempts at legislation.

Sometimes Ten Minute Rule bills can become law if there is general consent, although there is rarely time for debate after their introduction.