Monday, November 21, 2005

Media roundup

Daily Telegraph - Labour's 'dirty tricks' over secret Cameron dossier
"The Government was accused of waging a "dirty tricks" campaign last night over a potentially explosive file on David Cameron's personal life....Allies of Mr Cameron cried foul after the Treasury issued an unprecedented statement revealing that it held sensitive security information on the Tory leadership front-runner. Officials said the information was compiled when Mr Cameron was recruited as a special adviser to the Conservative chancellor Norman Lamont in 1992.The existence of the file was revealed in an unusually detailed response to a Freedom of Information request by The Sunday Telegraph."

The Observer - The BBC, Emin and a bill for £60,000
"The BBC faced embarrassment last night after internal emails revealed that it 'invented' a reason to explain to critics of why the corporation spent £60,000 of licence fee money on a sculpture by Tracey Emin.....The corporation decided it would reveal the price paid to Emin, because it believed it would have to do so anyway under the Freedom of Information Act. Its decision has now set a precedent that is threatening to blow the lid on the art world's most closely guarded secret: how much a public gallery pays for a modern work of art."

Daily Mail- Public inquiry call over TB jabs
"The firm finally had its licence to produce the BCG vaccine suspended when the fault was discovered in October 2000. The problems are detailed in a report from the Medicines Control Agency (now the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority) obtained under the Freedom of Information Act."

Yorkshire Post -Veterans claim evidence of 'guinea pig' vaccine trials
"Now a document released under the Freedom of Information Act has backed up their claims that they were given double doses of anthrax vaccines as well as unlicensed boosters."

The Guardian - Vice-chancellors 'ordered cuts' in fees report
"University leaders have been accused of suppressing the publication of a report on student funding in a bid to prevent criticisms of the government's plans to introduce higher fees....According to documents obtained by the Times Higher Education Supplement under the Freedom of Information Act, Universities UK, the vice-chancellor's group that commissioned the research with the funding council Hefce, ordered wide-ranging cuts of "politically contentious" sections of the study to "minimise negative publicity" on the issue over the past year."

Cambridgeshire Evening News - 'Scores on doors' ratings for cafes
"The council is one of only a handful nationwide to introduce the scheme and within the next few years every food outlet will have its ratings on the council's website. It is not compulsory for premises to display their star ratings, but Coun Daphne Spink, environmental health portfolio holder, said she hoped this will eventually become a legal requirement, as in other European countries."

"The Government has refused to give details of why the Health Secretary took the decision not to refer the decision to downgrade Frenchay Hospital to an independent panel. Campaigners used the Freedom of Information Act to ask to see documents revealing the advice Patricia Hewitt was given before her refusal to refer the downsizing of Frenchay to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel."

Hamstead and Highgate Express - Met launches search for new station
"The information, obtained by campaigner Ed Fordham, has prompted fears that the Grade-II listed police station on Rosslyn Hill will be sold off to swell Met coffers. Mr Fordham gained a copy of a Metropolitan Police Property Services report this week under the Freedom of Information Act."

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