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Northern Rock: Freedom of Information

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the reasons were for providing that sections 4 and 6 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 will not apply to Northern Rock under public ownership in the Banking (Special Provisions) Bill. (189564)

As the chief secretary to the Treasury explained to the House on 21 February 2008, Official Report, columns 634-37, Northern Rock is not performing a public function. The company is a purely commercial concern operating at arm's length from the Government in a competitive environment. Moreover, it has been taken into public ownership only on a temporary basis. On this basis, it would be inappropriate to make Northern Rock subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000.