Michael Connarty MP

Michael Connarty MP (Linlithgow & Falkirk East, Labour) is currently chair of the all party-jazz appreciation group. He chairs the Tribune Group of Labour MPs and is a particular critic of proposals to increase the private sector's role in the provision of public services. He is often described as a member of Labour's awkward squad. He is a member of the European Scrutiny Committee. In a short Westminster Hall debate on the Gowers review he stated that was seeking extension of copyright to 95 years as he knew jazz musicians who needed it to sustain their level of income.

Identity Cards

Michael is strongly in favour of ID cards as a tool to combat illegal immigration. He does not believe that it is a civil liberties issue or that there is a lot of fear about ID cards. He believes that the National Identity Register Number is equivalent to the PIN on a chip-and-pin card.

However, he is concerned about the potential cost escalations during implementation of the scheme. -- discussion on BBC Radio Scotland "Twelve to two" programme (2005/05/17) From No2ID Forum

In favour of ID Card. From his website

Key Benefits

Sets out the legal framework to enable identity cards to be introduced throughout the United Kingdom and to create a National Identity Register

Identity Cards will help:

  • Tackle illegal working and immigration abuse;
  • The prevention and detection of crime and counter-terrorism;
  • Prevent identity theft and fraud;
  • Prevent fraudulent access to public services;
  • Enable easier and more convenient access to services;
  • Allows verification of cards with consent of holder;
  • Safeguards on provision of ID card information without consent;
  • Creates new offences - fraudulent use of a card, possession of false identity documents, unauthorised disclosure of information by administrators of the scheme;
  • Establishes National Identity Scheme Commissioner to review operation of the scheme - annual report to the Home Secretary laid before Parliament;
  • Bill provides for compulsion to register at a later stage.

Freedom of Information

Signed Early Day Motion 2699 Freedom of Information 10 December 2006

That this House welcomes the finding of the Constitutional Affairs Committee (HC991) that the Freedom of Information Act has `already brought about the release of significant new information and....this information is being used in a constructive and positive way' and the committee's conclusion that it sees `no need to change' the Act's charging arrangements; views with concern reports that the Government is considering changing these arrangements to permit an application fee to be charged for all requests or to allow authorities to refuse, on cost grounds, a significant proportion of requests which they currently must answer; and considers that such changes could undermine the Act's benefits of increased openness, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities.


Has asked a written questions about promoting the British Music Industry.

Broadcast Rights

Michael Connarty MPWritten answers. 6 July 2006 Culture Media and Sport : Broadcast Rights Payments

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate her Department has made of the lost revenue to UK companies and recording artists from the lack of payments for broadcast rights in the USA; and what estimate has been supplied to her Department by the music industry.

Term Extension

House of Commons debate Copyright Term for Performers and Producers 9 May 2007 Presented a bill that would extend the period of time over which royalties are payable to performers and producers of recorded material; and for connected purposes.

In a short Westminster Hall debate (17 May 2006) on the Gowers review he stated that was seeking extension of copyright to 95 years as he knew jazz musicians who needed it to sustain their level of income.

In an earlier House of Commons debate 7 July 2005 he said

I am sure that the Leader of the House will agree that this country's music industry and musicians are very important to us. Does the Department for Culture, Media and Sport intend to respond to early-day motion 270, which is concerned with sound recording copyright for British artists?

That this House notes that the copyright of performers and recordings made in the United Kingdom and the European Union is limited to 50 years, whereas performers' sound recording copyright continues for 95 years in the USA and for an average of 75 years in most non-EU countries; recognises that UK and EU recording artists are often denied income from the playing of their recordings during their lifetime; and calls on the Government to recognise this as denial of income due to living recording artists for their work and to alter UK and EU copyright laws to correct this injustice.

As the early-day motion points out, in this country such copyright lasts for only 50 years, whereas in the USA it lasts for 95 years and the world average is 75 years. Does my right hon. Friend realise that, when people play the recorded music of artists such as Dame Vera Lynn, she receives no royalties? The same is true of some of the music of Cliff Richard, Humphrey Lyttleton and many other artists. Is it not time that we treated such people fairly during their lives and allowed them to receive royalties for the playing of their sound recordings in the UK?



2007-05-15 - PC Pro - 75 MPs back copyright extension motion
Author: Simon Aughton
Summary: Seventy-five MPs have signed a parliamentary motion calling for an extension of the lifetime of copyright on sound recordings. ... An EU report subsequently agreed with Gowers that the 50-year term was sufficient, arguing that any extension would 'strengthen and prolong' the major record companies dominance of the market 'to the detriment of competition'. ... Connarty disagrees, arguing that it is low-earning musicians who lose out. ... The Open Rights Group disagrees, saying that certain politicians 'appear to be neglecting their IP studies'.
2001-05-31 - The Register - The Internet MP list of shame
Author: Kieren McCarthy
Summary: Following on from the story yesterday about MPs being forced to remove their Web sites as their have "mp" in their title (because they're not MPs at the moment due to the election), we have compiled a list of shame for those politicians that are flagrantly flaunting election rules
2000-09-03 - The Guardian - MPs' websites slated for e-blandness
Summary: A large number of MPs' personal websites - including that of e-minister Patricia Hewitt - are "sloppy" and "bland", according to a new report.