Blair promises to consult local press on FoI

Kent Messenger political editor Paul Francis was in the limelight last week after Tony Blair responded to his question about FoI restrictions by saying: "We will certainly consult you and others very widely on it."

Francis quizzed the Prime Minister, who was speaking to political editors and their guests at the Newspaper Society's Newspaper Conference annual lunch.

Blair said: "What's important to realise is this generates an awful lot of work for the Government and it's important there is some sort of cost benefit relationship to it."

Francis told Press Gazette: "The question was designed to extract some kind of commitment rather than allow the proposals to be pushed through without giving anyone a chance to say what might be damaging or wrong about them.

"I have to admit I was trying to elicit the right response and he gave it. Let's all hope he will live up to his commitment to consult widely and take on the views of the industry generally."

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