AN ATTEMPT to make MPs' allowances and expenses exempt from the Freedom of Information Act has been halted.
Former Tory Minister David Maclean claimed his Private Members Bill (which he withdrew today (Friday, 27 April)) was aimed at protecting MPs private correspondence with and about constituents.
But opponents said that was nonsense and the Penrith and the Border MP wanted to stop publication of embarrassing details about their expenses and allowances.
Cambridgeshire MPs David Howarth, Andrew Lansley and Malcolm Moss all made clear their opposition to the move, as did Suffolk West's Richard Spring.
Cambridge City Liberal Democrat MP David Howarth said: "I am opposed to this proposal. Freedom of Information should apply to all public bodies and obviously that should include Parliament."
Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb - who angered colleagues by using the FoI Act to obtain and publish the details of MPs travel expenses earlier this year, told the News: "It is nonsense to say it is about protecting MPs correspondence with constituents or government departments."
Cambridgeshire North-East Tory MP Malcolm Moss said: "I don't quite understand what Mr Maclean is trying to do. Correspondence with and about constituents is protected by other legislation."
Mr Spring said: "I am relaxed about publication of MPs' expenses."