The Campaign for Freedom of Information  

 

How did my MP vote on the Maclean Bill?

 

We show below which MPs supported or opposed David Maclean’s Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill on April 20th when its report stage was first debated and on May 18th when the debate was completed and the bill was passed by the House of Commons. Many MPs did not vote at all, probably because they were not in Westminster on the days in question.


What were the votes about?

There was one important vote in the House of Commons on April 20th. This was to:

  • Delete the part of the bill that would remove the House of Commons and the House of Lords from the FOI Act (Division 95). This amendment was defeated by 46 votes to 6.

On May 18th the main votes were:

  • A vote to amend the bill, by striking out the proposed exemption for MPs’ communications with public authorities (Division 120). This amendment was defeated by 100 votes to 33.
  • A vote to narrow the proposed exemption for MPs’ communications with public authorities so that it only applied to information about the personal affairs of an individual constituent, and not policy issues or other matters (Division 121). This was defeated by 96 votes to 32.
  • A ‘closure motion’ to prevent the bill being blocked by its opponents who were trying to 'talk it out'. This vote in effect ensured that the bill would succeed. This was the crucial vote (Division 122) and was supported by 117 votes to 22.
  • A vote to approve the bill. This gave the bill a “third reading”, allowing it to complete it final stage in the House of Commons (Division 123). The bill was supported by 96 votes to 25. It now goes to the House of Lords.

 

What is a ‘closure motion’?

A private member’s bill cannot be voted on if MPs are still continuing to debate it when time for debate on the day runs out. This allows the opponents of a bill to block it by ‘talking it out’. This is what happened when the bill was first debated at its ‘report stage’ in the Commons on April 20. An all-party group of opponents, consisting of Norman Baker (Lib Dem), Simon Hughes (Lib Dem), David Winnick (Lab) and Richard Shepherd (Con) kept the debate going from 9.30 am to 2.30 pm.

The debate then had to be resumed at a later date, on May 18th. The bill’s opponents planned to talk it out again.

However, MPs can be prevented from ‘talking out’ a bill if the House of Commons votes for a motion to close the debate. This so-called ‘closure motion’ has to be backed by at least 100 MPs.

The bill’s supporters urged as many MPs as possible to attend the debate so that at least 100 voted for a closure motion. A key part was played by the committee of the Parliamentary Labour Party which wrote to all Labour MPs urging them to attend to support the bill. You can read a copy of their email here.

The closure motion was supported by 117 MPs and opposed by only 22. This was the critical vote which guaranteed that the bill could not be talked out. Some of the MPs who voted for this motion didn’t go on to vote for the bill itself. However, by voting for the closure motion, they prevented it from being talked out.

 

 
How MPs voted on May 18th
 On Apr 20th
MP Party

Position
(see key at end)

3rd reading
(Div 123)

For 96
Against 25

Closure motion
(Div 122)

For 117
Against 22

Amendment 40
(Div 121)

For 32
Against 96

Amendment 2
(Div 120)

For 33
Against 100

Amendment 1
(Div 95)

For 6
Against 46

Bob Ainsworth Lab Whip For For Against Against Against
Graham Allen Lab   For For Against Against -
Janet Anderson Lab   For For Against Against -
Peter Atkinson Con   For For Against Against -
Adrian Bailey Lab PPS For For Against Against Teller against
Norman Baker Lib   Against Against For For For
Ed Balls Lab Minister - For - - -
Henry Bellingham Con Shadow - - - - Against
Stuart Bell Lab   For For Against Against -
Clive Betts Lab   For For Against Against -
Liz Blackman Lab Whip For For Against Against Against
Tim Boswell Con   Teller for Teller for Teller against Teller against -
Lyn Brown Lab PPS - - - - For
Nick Brown Lab   For For Against Against Against
Colin Burgon Lab   For For Against Against  
Andy Burnham Lab Minister - - - - Against
Simon Burns Con Whip For For Against Against -
Paul Burstow Lib Whip - - For For -
Lorely Burt Lib Spokes Against Against For For -
John Butterfill Con   For For Against Against -
Vincent Cable Lib Shadow - - For For -
David Cairns Lab Minister For For Against Against -
Alan Campbell Lab Whip For For Against Against -
Ronnie Campbell Lab   For For Against Against -
Ian Cawsey Lab Whip - For - - Against
Christopher Chope Con   - For Against Against -
James Clappison Con   Against Against For For -
Paul Clark Lab PPS - For Against Against -
David Clelland Lab   For For Against Against -
Vernon Coaker Lab Minister - For - - -
Harry Cohen Lab   For For Against Against Against
Jeremy Corbyn Lab   Against Against For For -
Jim Cousins Lab   Against Against For For -
Mary Creagh Lab PPS - - - - For
Wayne David Lab   For For Against Against -
Parmjit Dhanda Lab Minister For For Against Against -
Andrew Dismore Lab   Teller for Teller for Teller against Teller against Against
Jonathan Djanogly Con Shadow - For - - -
Brian H. Donohoe Lab   For For Against Against Against
Frank Doran Lab   For For Against Against -
Jim Dowd Lab   For For Against Against Against
James Duddridge Con   For For - Against -
Angela Eagle Lab   For For Against Against -
Maria Eagle Lab Minister For For Against Against -
Clive Efford Lab   For For - - -
Tobias Ellwood Con Whip For For Against Against -
David Evennett Con Whip - - - - Against
Michael Fabricant Con Whip - - Against Against Against
Tim Farron Lib PPS Against Against For For -
Frank Field Lab   Against Against - For -
Mark Fisher Lab   Against Against For For -
Jim Fitzpatrick Lab Minister For For Against Against -
Caroline Flint Lab Minister For For - - -
Michael Foster (Worcester) Lab Whip For For Against Against -
Mark Francois Con Shadow - - Against Against -
George Galloway Respect   Against Against For - -
Barry Gardiner Lab Minister - For - Against -
Neil Gerrard Lab   Against Against For - -
Ian Gibson Lab   - - - - Against
Sandra Gidley Lib Spokes Against Against - - -
Roger Godsiff Lab   - For Against Against -
Paul Goggins Lab Minister - - - - Against
Julia Goldsworthy Lib Shadow Against Against For For -
Mike Hall Lab   For For Against Against -
Stephen Hammond Con Shadow - For Against Against -
Evan Harris Lib Spokes Against Against For For -
Tom Harris Lab Minister For For Against Against -
John Healey Lab Minister - - - - Against
David Heath Lib Shadow - - For For -
Doug Henderson Lab   For For Against Against -
John Heppell Lab Whip For For Against Against Against
Keith Hill Lab PPS For For Against Against Against
Kate Hoey Lab   Against Against For For -
Philip Hollobone Con   Against For For For -
David Howarth Lib Spokes Against Against For Teller for Teller for
Gerald Howarth Con Shadow - - - - Against
Beverley Hughes Lab Minister - - - - Against
Simon Hughes Lib Shadow Against Against For For Teller for
Nick Hurd Con   - For - - -
Brian Iddon Lab   - - Against Against -
Huw Irranca-Davies Lab Whip For For Against Against Against
Glenda Jackson Lab   - - For For -
Helen Jones Lab   - - - - Against
Kevan Jones Lab   For For Against Against -
Martyn Jones Lab   For For Against Against -
Tessa Jowell Lab Minister - - - - Against
Gerald Kaufman Lab   - - For For -
Sally Keeble Lab   - - - For -
Alan Keen Lab   - - - - Against
Ann Keen Lab PPS - - - - Against
Fraser Kemp Lab   For For Against Against -
Julie Kirkbride Con   For For Against Against -
Greg Knight Con   For For Against Against Teller against
Susan Kramer Lib Shadow Against Against For For -
Stephen Ladyman Lab Minister - - - - Against
Eleanor Laing Con Shadow - For - - -
David Lammy Lab Minister For For   Against -
Bob Laxton Lab   For For Against Against -
Tom Levitt Lab PPS For For Against Against -
Ivan Lewis Lab Minister For For   Against -
Julian Lewis Con Shadow For For Against Against -
Peter Lilley Con   - - - - -
Martin Linton Lab PPS - - - For For
Tony Lloyd Lab   For For Against Against -
David Maclean Con   For For Against Against Against
Fiona Mactaggart Lab   - - For For -
Khalid Mahmood Lab   For For Against Against -
John Maples Con   Against For For For -
David Marshall Lab   For For Against Against -
Thomas McAvoy Lab Whip For For Against Against Against
Steve McCabe Lab Whip For For Against Against Against
Ian McCartney Lab Minister For For Against Against -
John McFall Lab   For For - - -
Jim McGovern Lab   - - Against Against -
Anne McGuire Lab Minister - - - - Against
Shona McIsaac Lab PPS For For Against Against Against
Patrick McLoughlin Con Whip - - - - Against
Tony McNulty Lab Minister For For Against Against Against
Gillian Merron Lab Minister For For Against Against -
Alun Michael Lab   For For Against Against -
Laura Moffatt Lab   For For - - -
Elliot Morley Lab   For For Against Against -
George Mudie Lab   For For Against Against Against
Meg Munn Lab Minister For For Against Against Against
Denis Murphy Lab   For For Against Against -
Robert Neill Con   For For Against Against Against
Brooks Newmark Con   - - - - Against
Dan Norris Lab PPS Against For For For -
Mike O'Brien Lab Minister - For - - -
Richard Ottaway Con   - - - - Against
Ian Pearson Lab Minister - - - - Against
Andrew Pelling Con   For For Against Against Against
James Plaskitt Lab Minister For For Against Against -
Stephen Pound Lab PPS For For Against Against Against
Bridget Prentice Lab Minister - For - - -
Mark Pritchard Con   For For   Against -
Ken Purchase Lab   For For Against Against -
John Randall Con Whip For For Against Against Against
John Redwood Con   Against Against For For -
Alan Reid Lib Spokes Teller against Teller against Teller for For -
John Robertson Lab PPS For For Against Against -
Frank Roy Lab Whip For For Against Against -
Joan Ruddock Lab   - For - - -
David Ruffley Con Shadow For For Against Against -
Joan Ryan Lab Minister For For Against Against -
Martin Salter Lab   For For Against Against -
Jonathan Shaw Lab Whip For For Against Against -
Barry Sheerman Lab   - For For For -
Richard Shepherd Con   Against Against For For For
Jim Sheridan Lab   For For Against Against -
Siôn Simon Lab   For For Against Against -
Angela C. Smith Lab PPS For For Against Against -
Jacqui Smith Lab Whip - For - - -
Anne Snelgrove Lab PPS For For Against Against Against
Peter Soulsby Lab   Against Against For For -
John Spellar Lab   For For Against Against Against
Ian Stewart Lab   For For Against - -
Gerry Sutcliffe Lab Minister - For - - Against
Jo Swinson Lib Shadow Teller against Teller against For For -
Mark Tami Lab   For For Against Against -
Dari Taylor Lab   For For Against Against -
Gareth Thomas Lab Minister For For Against Against Against
David Tredinnick Con   For For Against Against -
Desmond Turner Lab   For For - - -
Shailesh Vara Con Shadow - For Against Against -
Claire Ward Lab Whip For For Against Against -
Tom Watson Lab   For For Against

Against

Against
Dave Watts Lab Whip For For Against Against -
Malcolm Wicks Lab Minister For For Against Against -
Ann Widdecombe Con   For For Against Against -
Hywel Williams PC Spokes Against Against For For -
Roger Williams Lib Whip
/spokes
- - Teller for Teller for -
Stephen Williams Lib Spokes - - For For -
David Winnick Lab   Against Against For For For
Ann Winterton Con   For For Against Against -
Nicholas Winterton Con   For For Against Against -
Phil Woolas Lab Minister For For Against Against -
David Wright Lab   For For Against Against -

 

Key  
M Minister
PPS Parliamentary private secretary (appointed by a Minister to be his or her unpaid assistant)
Whip Government or opposition whip
Shadow Shadow minister
Spokes Opposition spokesperson

 

Further information

The Campaign's briefings together with press and other comment on the Maclean Bill can be found here.

 

 

 

 

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