Senior Conservative MP David Davis has criticised his party’s review of the Freedom of Information Act and said it is a ‘stitch-up’.

The MP, who has long been a supporter of the FOI Act – as well as other civil rights, criticised the formation of the panel and also the need for the review. He made the comments while appearing on the BBC’s Daily Politics show.

Since the announcement of the Commission in July it has come under heavy criticism from, politicians, campaigners, and legal groups.

A large part of this criticism has come around the members who are sat on the panel. These include Labour’s Jack Straw – although the party has since said he does not represent them on the Committee – who was responsible for forcing the original Act through Parliament in 2000.

“It’s chaired by an insider, Burns, the ex-head of the treasury, you’ve got Michael Howard who has got views on this already, Jack Straw who said it was a mistake, Carlile who was the spooks inspector and is always in favour [of non-disclsoure],” Davis said.

“I think it is a stitch-up”.

Davis continued to say that from his experience redaction to documents published under FOI, even those surrounding security, are often “more political than they are security driven”.

He also said that there small areas of official information that should be protected from disclosure but the law “easily” protects these things and more.

Davis appeared alongside Ed Miliband’s former director of communications Tom Baldwin who said that the Act was one of the last Labour government’s biggest successes.

“Given the kind of things that have come out, things that we would have never have known about, things that the public have a right to know about, it’s a good law and let’s not fiddle with something that is working,” Baldwin said.

The show is on iPlayer for 30 days and the discussion starts around the 29 minute mark.


I am a journalist and author. I am a journalist at the UK edition of WIRED magazine. In 2015, my first book Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. My second book Reed Hastings: Building Netflix, was published in March 2020. I created FOI Directory in 2012 and have maintained it in my spare time ever since.