Clause 1 — Exemption of House of Commons and House of Lords
Orders of the Day
Norman Baker (Lewes, Liberal Democrat)
I regard myself as deeply chastened, Madam Deputy Speaker, because I had hoped that I was doing that. If I failed to do so, I can only apologise for that oversight and re-examine my skills. I was seeking to relate my points directly to amendment No. 9. I will try even harder, having heard your strictures.
The point that I am making—I will try to make it succinctly—is that, every inch of the way, at every opportunity, the House of Commons has shown itself unwilling to release information, no matter how modest and unremarkable, and has used every single trick in the book to resist doing so, including not being very open about things. That is entirely germane to this matter. My hon. Friend the Member for North Southwark and Bermondsey asked me earlier how much has been spent resisting the claims. It is approaching £20,000 of public money. That might not seem like very much, but it was inappropriate to use public money to resist answering a question that was framed in such a modest way.