FOI 'should apply to newspapers'

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Indy Politics

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act should be applied to newspapers, Jack Straw, the Leader of the House, said yesterday.

The former Labour transport minister John Spellar said the FOI Act should be applied to newspapers during a debate on the act, to which Mr Straw replied: "I think that is a terrific idea."

Mr Spellar also accused The Independent of "hypocrisy". He said the newspaper had shown "intense interest" in the carbon emissions caused by ministerial air travel. "Yet when I wrote to them asking about the travelling of their journalists and their board, [they showed] a singular reluctance - despite their proclamation of FOI - to reveal their own activities."

The editor, Simon Kelner, had advised him that an audit was underway to ensure that the journalists' travel was in keeping with the paper's editorial stance, said Mr Spellar.