James Forsyth

Lords inflicts defeat on government over Northern Rock

Lords inflicts defeat on government over Northern Rock
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The Lords has just defeated the government on its plan to exempt Northern Rock from the freedom of information act, the issue which David Cameron raised at PMQs yesterday. Brown and Darling now have a choice: they can either overturn the vote in the Commons and send it back to the Lords or they can back down on this question.

As Peter Riddell wrote in The Times this morning, “The Government is asking us all to take far too much on trust over the nationalisation of Northern Rock. This may have become the only remaining option by last weekend. But that does not mean that Parliament should sign up to a blank cheque – on behalf of us all – granting ministers sweeping powers and providing little information about the possible taxpayer liability.” The Lords is doing its job here in forcing the government to pause and think things through. 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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