Taxpayer Funded Language Classes for MPs and Officials

Richard Taylor made this Freedom of Information request to House of Commons

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear House of Commons,

Could you please release a copy of a FOI response made recently on the subject of MPs and official's taking language classes at public expense.

The FOI release has been referred to in an article at:



Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

If the House of Commons kept their disclosure log up to date requests like this would not be needed.

At the time of writing the response is not listed on the July-September 2011 disclosure log at:

(Only two responses are)

FOICOMMONS, House of Commons

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Taylor

Thank you for your request for information dated 27 August 2011, received by us on 30 August, which is copied below.

Details of the FOI request and response are as follows:-

The request:-
" I would like to apply under freedom of information laws for details of language classes provided to Mps in each of the last five years including

:: The languages taught and the number of Mps studying each language

:: The total cost and a break-down of cost by language and MP if possible

:: The names of the individual Mps and the language they studied if possible

I would alos like the same information for any language classes provided to Parliamentary officials."

The response:-
"Thank you for your request for information which is copied below. The information you require in respect of Members of Parliament is attached.

We can confirm that information regarding language classes provided to the House staff is also held, for years 2006/07 – 20010/11.
We have concluded that names of the House officials are exempt. This information is exempt by virtue of section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the exemption for personal information), as disclosure of this information to the public generally, in the House’s view, would not be consistent with data protection principles in the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.

The cost of staff language training for the years the records are held is provided as a word attachment."

Yours sincerely

Alistair Duncan
IRIS Support Officer

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