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February 4, 2008

Tribunal case could bring MPs expenses under FOI

By Martin Stabe wirepost

Journalist Heather Brooke is this week taking on the House of Commons at the Information Tribunal in a case that could make details of MPs expenses available under the Freedom of Information Act.

Brooke wants access to “every single receipt and remittance” submitted by MPs, according to yesterday’s Scotland on Sunday.

Her case is being heard, coincidentally, just as MPs’ use of their parliamentary allowances are under an intense media spotlight because of the Conway scandal.

Brooke has been highly critical of Commons Speaker Michael Martin, who, as chairman of the House of Commons Commission, signed a certificate blocking her request. On her blog, Brooke has accused Martin of having obvious conflict of interest because of his own expenses.

Brooke told Scotland on Sunday that her experience using more generous American right-to-know laws has put her in a good position to know what should be possible.

“Most people are too British about these things,”
Brooke tells the paper. “I’m an American and I’m not going to take any compromise.”

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