back to article MPs vote to keep addresses private (theirs, not yours)

Members of Parliament have voted themselves the right to withhold their names and addresses from publication. Candidates at Parliamentary elections will get the same right. This is perhaps less surprising than it ought to have been. Last May, the High Court ruled in a Freedom of Information case that MPs' addresses should be …


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  1. Eponymous Cowherd
    Black Helicopters

    I See....

    Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, then?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you know,

    Is there actually any point in parliment anymore? We may aswell just have the cabinet and get rid of the rest of the MPs based no how government has worked over the past few years.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite right too.

    And soon they will need houses in gated communities, close to pleasant areas country parks and the seeside. Better close off the surronding areas too, we don't want just anyone thinking that they too can share this tranquility.. And how about a special, restricted access, lane in the center of the road reserved just for them. And special restricted access shops where they can shop quietly in peace and safety. But then they would need special currency or cards only accepted by those shops so that only they could buy those products, and not just any peon.

    And they should get another pay rise to compensate them for all of the stress that they and their faimilies are under. Lets face it this country is now the safest and most stress free country in the world. And there are obviously no othet occupations as dangerous or stressful as being an MP. I bet most of the SAS and SBS are, even now, sat in their concealed obsevation bunkers, thanking their gods that they have the easy jobs and aren't in the real front line like the MPs.

  4. Niall Campbell
    Black Helicopters


    What gives these jumped up representatives of the people different rights to the rest of the general public? They will gladly vote to restrict the freedoms of the public while enhancing their own. All politicians choose to put themselves in the public eye and by doing so, they should accept the consequences of that decision. Knowing where your MP lives is fundamental to knowing whether they are worth voting for in the future. Are they local? Do they know what concerns you? What are the issues on which they should be acting on you behalf?

    Instead, what we get is unaccountable people who feather their own nests and act only in their own best interests.

    As I always say, How can you tell when a politician is lying? Their lips move!!

    Guy Fawkes and his cohorts had the right idea!

  5. Matt


    You said "After all, it is not as though previous generations of MPs have had to put up with such risks.". I hope that's sarcasm, as my local MP was the victim of a IRA car bomb at his home.

    Personally I think that either we all have a right to privacy as we can all be victims of harassment or not. MPs are not a special case, they are our servants and need to remember that.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    They've lost another voter

    One of my criteria for voting, is where the candidate lives. At the last local elections, only one candidate actually lived in the ward (I sometimes see him at my sons school). Of the others, one gave a posh city-centre address, and two lived outside the city.

    Guess who got my vote ?

    If I can't tell if a candidate is locally motivated or not, they won't get my vote.

    I wonder how long we can go on with ever increasing numbers of the population being disenfranchised ?

  7. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    They know where I live

    I'm a local councillor, and my address gets published. Typical one law for MPs, another for everybody else.

  8. Ash

    No matter.

    It's exactly for reasons like this that Wikileaks exists.

  9. Paul


    I think that the MP's do have a right to privacy, as much as any other person does, however it does go to show how ineffeciant this government has been. They introduce the Freedom of Information act that says "look, ask us anything and we have to tell you" and then have to shove in a tonne of extra clauses to various Acts of Parlement to cover things they didn't think of.

    I bet if the entire bunch of MP's disappeared one day the country will still run perfectly fine!

  10. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    How naive...

    ...of MPs to think that this will make them safer. Think about it. MPs are leading figures within their own constituency. I bet their addresses are known to hundreds of constituents, and all their children's friends at school will know where they live, and... Well, the list is surely endless.

    I don't suppose they do feel safe, I bet they do get letters in green ink, and it must indeed be hard to be "married to a target". This, however, is not the answer. The message it sends is "We're so stupid we actually think this might make a difference.". That's *not* the message I want to get from my MP.

  11. Michael Fremlins

    It won't be long...

    before the names of "our" MPs are secret. Please vote for either A, B, or C.

    Parliament is a pointless institution. Its members have forgotten that they are there to keep a check on the government.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @AC Quite right too"

    Is proximity to bishops particularly to be prized, then?

  13. David


    "MPs vote to keep addresses private (theirs, not yours)"

    D twatdangler 26 homeroad

    Z nobface 25 homeroad

    F Talking-Crap 24 homeroad

    <content removed to protect identity>

    W TimothyFredericks 22 homeroad

    I'l get my own coat thank you

  14. Jonathan


    Quote: "He pointed out that the High Court's "dangerous decision" to allow addresses to be revealed"

    You know, I thought it was supposed to be the High Court that instructed the government, not the other way around. So thats what happens to separation of powers hey? The government decides its for the birds.

    Seriously, with this lot running the UK, it must be easily as corrupt as the most corrupt African dictatorship.

  15. Steve
    Thumb Down

    Who do they think they are?

    These are OUR public representatives to OUR parliament. Far from being hidden, their names and addresses should be posted on the noticeboard of every town hall in the country. Certainly that may place them at risk from unhappy voters, that goes with the job. If they don't have the courage to stand up to an unhappy constituent how can we trust them to stand up for us anywhere?

    Dangerous? Probably, but that goes with the responsibilities of the job. If they can't stand the heat, get them the hell out of the kitchen. They may like to reflect on the courage of some of their erstwhile colleagues in the matter, Lord (Gerry) Fitt of the SDLP comes to mind.

  16. Leigh Smith

    Guy Fawkes and his cohorts had the right idea!

    You mean commit an act of indiscriminate violence that would kill hundreds of innocent people as well as the enemies you want rid off, start a Civil War and force the whole country to become Catholic after France and Spain help you win? I'm not sure that would help very much to be honest.

  17. Wize
    IT Angle

    Withholding names?

    "Members of Parliament have voted themselves the right to withhold their names and addresses from publication. Candidates at Parliamentary elections will get the same right."

    So, how will this voting sheet look?

    Conservative Party

    Representative: *not foud*

    Labour Party

    Representative: *not foud*

    Liberal Party

    Representative: *not foud*

  18. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Down

    Gosh! What a surprise!

    Fine, OK. So are you going to ensure details about the victims of rape and child abuse are afforded the same care and attention, when their details are loaded into a publicly available giv databases ( all gov DBs are effectively open, given the crap security and regs put in place )? No didn't think so!

    "Sorry pleb, 'all you detail is belong to us'!".

  19. John Ozimek
    Paris Hilton


    er, yes. Perhaps I should deconstruct the various bits of sarcasm in the piece.

    My comment about the risks faced by previous generations of MP's was intended to be ironic/ sarcastic.

    So too were my closing remarks about the Deputy Speaker upholding the traditional rights of Parliament. Perhaps a well-placed "Not" would have helped. As in: "the Deputy Speaker upheld traditional parliamentary rights. Not."

    However, I cannot lay any claim to Ms Kirkbride's observation that "You never know if someone is going to explode ...". Clearly a reference to the recent outbreak of suicide bombers in leafy Bromsgrove.

    Paris...because if she hears much more self-serving parliamentary waffle, SHE is going to explode.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    given that the vast majority of the victims of violence and harrasment are ordinary poeple, politicos getting harmed being almost unheard of, surely it is we that deserve the anonimity and privicy?

    rubbing out politicians for destroying our democratic rights and getting their snouts too deep into the trough may soon be commonplace, could they be thinking of the future they have planned?

  21. Juan Inamillion

    Won't someone please think of the children!

    As in all things, a truly determined nutter will always find out where someone lives/works etc. So this amendment is either a very sneaky way of enhancing an MP's status or an illustration of how truly ignorant of how the world works. Or both. Fuck. I don't know anymore and I'm caring less and less.

    We (ahem, 'hippies') used to say when the revolution comes, we'll all be free. Unfortunately we haven't had the revolution yet. Can someone please start one soon? Really, if it started off in earnest I'd be up there at the sharp end. Nothing to lose anymore (maybe not even my flat, if the bank gets it's way)

    /duffle coat with 'International Times' in the pocket.

  22. Jax


    Good good, I will write a letter to my MP about this!

    Now... what's her address?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't stop nutters anyway

    If you're determined to find out where an MP lives, and want to do unpleasant things to them, they you only need to follow them home surely..? I mean, it's not as if we don't know what the bloody look like!

  24. Dave

    Wrong Job

    I prefer to not have my address disclosed, and to keep my financial affairs from the public eye. My way of achieving this is to choose not to try to be an MP or councillor, thus avoiding the compulsory disclosure.

  25. Mark


    So I cannot find out where an MP lives, but for a couple of quid I can get the address of any director in the country thanks to the Companies House website.

    Do you think the MP's that are also directors are now going to close this horrific loophole.....

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Bunch of fuckers.

    I too, have nothing further to add.

  27. Tim Ward

    Mine's not secret

    My MP does not keep his address secret - he lives a couple of streets from me, everyone knows where he lives. What's the problem?

  28. Jesthar

    They're either optimists or idiots...

    ...if they think banning the publishing MPs addresses will make it significantly more difficult to obtain that information. The senior management at our (very large) company are constantly amazed (and very annoyed) by how much of the stuff they try and keep quiet and 'executive confidential' we not only find out about within a matter of hours, but in enough detail to start asking very awkward questions... ;)

    As Sir Humphrey Appleby so eloquently put it, “The ship of state, Bernard, is the only ship that leaks from the top.”

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    What's the point?

    I'm sure that if someone *really* wanted to know where a particular MP lived they could find out. So the argument that the information is being withheld for security reasons is rubbish.

    It's probably just so that they can keep the address where they've installed their bit on the side quiet....

    @Niall Campbell: Guy Fawkes may not have had the right idea, but at least he was honest in his intentions - unlike the mob of self serving ne'er-do-wells currently there.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want Jacqui Smiths phone logs

    IMHO, they are entitled to their privacy just like anyone else. What they're not entitled to do, is hold one view when it comes to themselves and one view when it comes to everyone else.

    Jacqui Smith, should release her phone logs for her mobile phone. The cell location will tell us if she really was in London most of the time, or if she was fiddling her expenses.

    She forfeit her right to privacy when she decided everyone else should forfeit THEIR rights to privacy.

  31. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge


    "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" is the correct mantra, I believe...

  32. Andrew Norton

    Remind me again...

    what other employer would put up with the people they have working for them saying 'you can't know where I live, because I don't trust you'. Well, thats what we have here, because, lets not forget, THEY work for US.

    This is an issue that's in the platform for the many Pirate Parties around the world. Enhanced personal privacy, and government accountability and transparency are the complete opposite of what current governments desire. Its just a pity the UK doesn't currently have a Pirate Party - no-one wants to do anything about it, it seems.

    Andrew Norton

    Pirate Party International

  33. andy gibson

    @ Tim Ward

    Neither is mine. Happy to share his address and home phone number to anyone.

  34. Dan
    Thumb Down

    I would have no problem with this...

    ...if only they respected our civil liberties and right to privacy. Nowt to hide/fear, and all that.

  35. Simon B


    One rule for them ,another for us. Twats.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You are all wrong

    We have the most wonderful government ever heres proof:

    I like this quote best

    Rabbi Arthur Schneier, hailed "your courage in defending freedom and human rights ... and also your key intellectual and compassionate leadership in these critical times, when financial upheavals raised societal tensions and international tensions"

    See new labour are defending our freedoms and human rights the yanks say so, So let that be an end to it. OK??


  37. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Let's get Web 2.0 on their asses...

    Anyone up for a Web site listing MP's addresses? If anyone lives near an MP, they could submit the address which would go on to a public site.

  38. Jonathan


    If they can bomb one MP, why not all of them?

    Sigh, I guess this comment will put me on the terror watch list. Heck, its not like they dont monitor our communications anyway. May the poor government operative who has to read this have a nice day, hes as trapped as the rest of us.

  39. Michael Fremlins

    I hope you don't mind me posting twice

    I think that "our" MPs are becoming very afraid of US, the electorate and tax payers. This measure is not aimed at would-be terrorists who would plant a bomb on the Tube. It is aimed solely at the electorate.

    There was a headline on Sunday Express that MI5/police are becoming worried about serious disturbances in the summer, not from the usual ban-the-bomb-and-do-F-all (thanks, Quadrophenia) brigade, but from "ordinary" people who have had more than enough of this nonsense. The tax payers, who have bailed out the banks without a proper debate in the useless parliament, while losing their jobs, while seeing their assets dwindle, while seeing failed bankers getting £615k pensions, and ever encroaching surveillance under the false guise of anti-terrorism measures, are the ones who will rise up. Or that is the fear.

    Yes, MPs should be afraid. Because they have let it happen. Because they are responsible. Because they will still get their perks and payoffs. They have become rubber stamps for the government, that is when things are debated and Acts passed, and legislation not just reduced to statutory instruments at the whim of a minister.

    If there are serious disturbances/riots/insurrections this summer, there will be two sides: THEM and US. Indeed, not having THEIR addresses will not save them for long from US.

  40. Estariel

    Electoral Roll?

    The address of an MP is already in the public domain. It's on the Electoral Roll along with you, me and everyone else over 18. Go to your local library and find it.

    The data is even made available in electronic format these days....

    I wonder where Jacqui Smith is registered to vote? Let me guess.....not in the spare bedroom at her sisters London house.......

  41. Theresa Forster
    Paris Hilton


    One question, when will the MPs be locked up and branded criminals for breaking the law.

    On the Census You are required by LAW to give your details, does this ruling now mean that Members of Parliament and Candidates Standing for office are now exempt from filling in the Census forms or is the government now going to make it illegal to reveal an address to the public

    (i can see the name on one of the forms "I live next to tony blair".

    We fought long and hard to first of all get rid of the class system (at least how it was in the 19th Century) and then Equality for women, and now MPs are making themselves above the rest of us

    Everyone is equal except some are more equal than others.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Early Christian Church

    Our MPs aren't the brightest of sparks, are they?

    Any terrorist or nutcase worth their salt would easily be able to find an MP by going to Parliament and just waiting around a bit. If said terrorist or nutcase can't find their target that way they could just drop along to the MPs surgery. And if they can't find their target that way then they're clearly not up to the standard of terrorist or nutcase we've come to expect in this country and should be laughed and pointed at where so'ere they go.

    Given the above, does this mean the next logical step in this MPs-only game of 'dumber and dumberer' is for our representatives to meet to discuss policy in the manner of the early Christian church - in secret at an undisclosed address?

  43. Anonymous Coward

    Orwell anyone??

    We are all equal, some are more equal than others.

    I can only hope they are the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

  44. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    You have to laugh, or else you'd cry...

    "Second, and more worrying, was the way in which this measure was introduced into the House on Monday, as an amendment, with no debate permitted, to the Political Parties and Elections Bill."

    This is the way of the current govt. The number of "ammendments" that have been made which should really have been passed through parliament for full debate is staggering. It mocks the entire political process (although this in itself is a mockery at the moment). A friend told me that some of these "amendments" have been larger than the original law, and others have been completely unrelated to whats being amended.

    Also @Matt:

    RE: "MPs are not a special case, they are our servants and need to remember that."

    Ha! This has not been the case for a LONG time. They are our overlords, we must bow to their magnificence!

  45. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Fasten your Selt Belts ...... She Gonna Blow and/or there's Turbulence ahead?

    "Its just a pity the UK doesn't currently have a Pirate Party - no-one wants to do anything about it, it seems." ...... By Andrew Norton Posted Wednesday 4th March 2009 13:11 GMT


    I think you will find that many would want to do a lot about it, and some even are. Softly softly, catchee monkey though, is the Stealthy Root/Route and the one most suited to Success in the Virtual Field which is rendering their Practices so Transparent and which quite frankly, does not lend itself to Corrupt Practices and thus is a Mind/Mined/Minefield for any in Politics, who would prefer Private Skullduggery rather than Public Service.

    I notice that you qualify the lack of a Pirate Party with "currently". How very wise, for one never knows what Opportunities, Quantum Communications can Present to One and One to Quantum Communications.

    And given the Nature of the Virtual Medium, one can always fully expect things to move at a QuITe Phenomenally Quick Pace, which easily races ahead of any Opposition leaving them trailing in ITs Wake and wiping Egg off their Sorry Faces and eating Humble Pie...... and no less that richly deserved either, would be one popular refrain although others may think it far too charitable if ritual and serial serious abuses of Protocols are uncovered, as they will surely be in the fullness of Time, which might also be in very short order, given the Virtual Medium's Nature/ITs Media Nature, which doesn't suffer the Arrogance or Ignorance of Fools, at All.

    Changed Times indeed......

    And I know why I might use PGP and would think it most suspect to discover an MP thinking to use it........ for it is very convenient for conduct terrorism in secret chunnels, and would invariably tar one with that broad brush? ......

    What are they playing at, those jokers?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Andrew Norton

    Since they work for Her Majesty's Government, as long as they tell the Queen where they live that's OK.

    Parliamentary Monarchy != Democracy

  47. Jimmy

    The House is in sitting.

    The nature of our relationship with our elected representatives needs to be urgently updated. Sir Fred Goodwin, he of the £700,000pa pension, knows a thing or two about politicians and what they really stand for. So I suggest that Fred's fully extended middle finger best defines how we too should treat our sleepwalking MPs. Sit on this, you useless bunch of tossers.

  48. David Pollard

    @ amanfromMars

    "What are they playing at, those jokers?"

    If 'jokers' refers to the central cabal, they seem to be engineering another step towards totalitarianism. As with the recent changes to legislation regulating the use of DNA profiles, for example, they are using executive powers whenever that can get away with it rather than allowing parliamentary debate. They are reducing the opportunities for our elected representatives to subject their actions to scrutiny.

    If 'jokers' refers to the great majority of the people, who seem to have either failed to notice or, if they have, don't care, then I really don't know what they are playing at.

  49. Snake Plissken

    Guido Fawkes blog had it right

    Given that Jacqui Smith and others are in deep shit for claiming they reside in one place and taking travel allowances, yet actually residing in another, this is a convenient way to hide which address they are claiming expenses for.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, I'm Lost. Which Page?

    Sorry, I'm lost. Could someone please tell me what page of Animal Farm we're now on?

    (A few months ago, I picked up a DVD of Animal Farm from my local supermarket for just £1. Whenever I hear the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" mantra, I always think of the bit where the pigs are telling the sheep and other animals that only criminals have anything to fear.)


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