Richard Shepherd MP (Conservative) for Aldridge-Brownhills. Parliamentary co-chair of the Campaign for Freedom of Information.
Constituency Office: 82 Walsall Road, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 0JW Tel: 01922 452228 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Shepherd is educated at the London School of Economics and at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Bologna.
Richard Shepherd was a Founder/Director of a retail food business in London, and he was an underwriting Member of Lloyd's from 1974 to 1994. He unsuccessfully contested Nottingham East in February 1974 but was elected Member of Parliament for Aldridge Brownhills in May 1979. He has introduced four Private Member's Bills - the Crown Immunity Bill (1986), Protection of Official Information Bill (1988), the Referendum Bill on Maastricht (1992), and the Public Interest Disclosure Bill (The Whistleblowers Bill)(1997).In 1989 he was voted by colleagues, in a MORI poll, one of the ten most effective MPs.
Not yet contacted about the DEB.
Introduced a Private Member's Bill in 1997, called the Public Interest Disclosure Bill (The Whistleblowers' Bill), and won an award from the Campaign for Freedom of Information in 1998 for his work. Very much against the proposed changes to the Freedom of Information Act.
In a column he wrote about the changes to the Freedom of Information Act Right to know – an embarrassing success 27 December 2006
- The Government has had enough of freedom of information. Only two years after bringing the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act fully into force, Ministers have decided to severely cut back the right to know.
- What the government really hopes to save is not cash, but embarrassment.
Tabled Early Day Motion 80 Freedom of Information Act 2000 14 May 2013
- That this House notes that the Government is proposing to make it easier for public authorities to refuse Freedom of Information requests on cost grounds in order to prevent disproportionate use of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 by some requesters; expresses concern that requests by those making moderate use of the legislation will also be more easily refused under the proposals; is particularly concerned at the proposal that the time which authorities spend considering whether to release information should be taken into account when calculating whether the cost limit has been reached; further notes that this proposal was expressly rejected by the Justice Committee in its post-legislative review of the Act; believes that this proposal will penalise requests raising new or complex issues which will inevitably require substantial time to consider; observes that the Government's objective will in any case be achieved following recent decisions of an Upper Tribunal that requests which involve a disproportionate, manifestly unjustified, inappropriate or improper use of the Act can be refused as vexatious; and calls on the Government not to proceed with its proposals.
Signed Early Day Motion 845 Freedom of Information 06 Febuary 2007
- That this House expresses concern that the proposed new fees regulations under the Freedom of Information Act would allow authorities to refuse on cost grounds a high proportion of requests which they are currently required to answer; notes that the Government's consultation document recognises that this will have a greater impact on journalists, hon. Members, campaign groups and researchers than on private individuals; considers that such changes would undermine the Act's contribution to increased discussion of public affairs, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities; and calls on the Government not to proceed with the proposals.
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.
- 2006-12-27 - Yorkshire Post Today - Right to know – an embarrassing success
- Author: Richard Shepherd MP
- Summary: The Government has had enough of freedom of information. Only two years after bringing the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act fully into force, Ministers have decided to severely cut back the right to know.