Stephen Hammond, Conservative Member of Parliament for Wimbledon, denies that he supported the recent Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill. That isn’t our view.
A comment on his website says,
Disappointed to see that you voted for the amendment to the FOI bill, which would exempt Parliament…It was a sad day for parliament and I am sad that you are our MP
To which Stephen Hammond replies:
As the voting record clearly shows, I absolutely did NOT vote for the Bill to exempt MPs from the Freedom of Information Act. I am afraid that in this case you are simply wrong
This isn’t a full disclosure.
The Bill is a Private Members’ Bill. Only a small proportion of Private Members Bills make it through to enactment because they are rarely given enough time and can be ‘talked out’, or ‘filibustered’.
In this case, many MPs tried to talk out the Bill; at the end of the 18th May, two votes were held in quick succession.
The first vote was on a closure motion, which would have prevented the Bill from being talked out. Any MP supporting this closure motion was supporting the passage of the Bill. Stephen Hammond supported the closure motion.
The second vote, taken just 16 minutes later was the vote on the Third Reading of the Bill. Stephen Hammond didn’t vote in the Third Reading.
It seems clear that Stephen Hammond supported the Bill by voting for the closure motion but then avoided the second vote on the 18th so that his name didn’t appear on the record as a supporter.
This is a list of all MPs who did the same:
- Christopher Chope, Christchurch (Con)
- Jonathan Djanogly, Huntingdon (Con)
- Stephen Hammond, Wimbledon (Con)
- Nick Hurd, Ruislip – Northwood (Con)
- Eleanor Laing, Epping Forest (Con)
- Shailesh Vara, North West Cambridgeshire (Con)
- Edward Balls, Normanton (Lab, minister)
- Ian Cawsey, Brigg & Goole (Lab, minister)
- Paul Clark, Gillingham (Lab (PPS))
- Vernon Coaker, Gedling (Lab, minister)
- Barry Gardiner, Brent North (Lab, minister)
- Roger Godsiff, Birmingham, Sparkbrook & Small Heath (Lab)
- Mike O’Brien, North Warwickshire (Lab, minister)
- Bridget Prentice, Lewisham East (Lab, minister)
- Joan Ruddock, Lewisham, Deptford (Lab)
- Barry Sheerman, Huddersfield (Lab)
- Jacqui Smith, Redditch (Lab, minister)
- Gerry Sutcliffe, Bradford South (Lab, minister)
if one of these is your MP why not write to them and ask them for an explanation?