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Whistleblowing

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:21 pm on 5th April 2005.

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Photo of Tony Wright Tony Wright Labour, Cannock Chase 4:21 pm, 5th April 2005

I rise briefly to do two things. First, I join the tributes to my hon. and learned Friend Ross Cranston, who is my office neighbour. The House will be hugely deprived of his expertise. I have been inspecting his rubbish in the corridor, and this morning among the things that he was throwing out I came across a huge volume entitled "The Legislative Enactments of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka". Not many people, when they clean out their office, can dispose of volumes of that quality and character. He will be hugely missed, and I shall miss him as an office companion. It is entirely appropriate that he should have secured this debate on whistleblowing for what may be his swansong in the House.

Secondly, those of us who played a role in the genesis of the whistleblowing legislation never saw it as a narrow employment rights measure; we always saw it as a measure that would transform the governance of public and private organisations. In so far as it has been narrowed into an employment measure, that is understandable but regrettable. However, report after report now states that we must think more widely about whistleblowing. The Shipman report is only the latest report to say how crucial the role of whistleblowing is in the good ordering of organisations. The Government will always take huge credit for having ensured that the measure came on to the statute book. After the election, I hope that they will revisit the measure and think about how to carry it forward so that it can genuinely become the basis for a cultural revolution.