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Politicians’ private emails could be searched under FoIA

Politicians may be forced to open up their private email addresses under the Freedom of Information Act, following the revelation that Michael Gove and his advisors have been using gmail accounts in a plot to keep details of New Schools Network secret.

The Information Commissioner commented on the fiasco: “It is certainly possible that some information in private emails could fall within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act if it concerns government business. This will be dependent on the specific circumstances.”

The Independent has reported that the practice of using private email accounts is widespread in Whitehall. David Cameron’s private accounts are reportedly being trawled to see if they contain information relating to government business.

The story has also been reported in the Times, the Guardian, the Mail and the Telegraph today.

The news is a major embarrassment to Cameron and the Conservative Party who promised to be the most open and accountable government in the world when elected in May 2010.

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