Grayling attacks FOI – Reprieve comment

October 29, 2015

Image of a Guardian article with words redacted

Responding to Chris Grayling’s suggestion that journalists’ using Freedom of Information to ‘generate’ stories are ‘misusing’ the Act, Donald Campbell from human rights organization Reprieve said:

“It is worrying that Mr Grayling seems to be criticizing the media for doing a crucial job: keeping the public informed about the activities of Government. This is especially important when it concerns an issue that ministers would rather keep secret.

“Freedom of information is a crucial tool for keeping our political system honest.  For example, FOI requests forced the UK Government to admit that it had sought to keep parts of the US Senate torture report secret.

“The Government must think again about its plans to weaken the Freedom of Information Act, and recognise its importance in exposing waste and wrongdoing.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization with offices in London and New York City. For more information, contact Reprieve’s press office:

UK: alice [dot] gillham [at] reprieve.org.uk / +44 (0) 207 553 8140
US: katherine [dot] oshea [at] reprieve.org / +1 917 855 8064

2. Further detail on the UK’s attempts to influence the contents of the Senate torture report can be found here.