The vote held on the 21st February 2015, sought to introduce a new clause into the Serious Crime Bill to make it easier for those subject to the Official Secrets Act to disclose information on historical child sex abuse.
The intention was that the new clause would amend Section 8 of the 1989 Official Secrets Act, which concerns the 'safeguarding of information' and makes it an offence to disclose information without authorisation.
The proposed new clause would have provided a defence to 'unauthorised disclosure of information' if it was:
- Germane to an official investigation of, or inquiry into, historic child abuse... and was provided to an officer of such an investigation or inquiry.
Clearly the intention here was to make it more difficult to cover up historical child sex abuse cases in future which in itself was an admirable aim.
Unfortunately most MP's on the Government benches (Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) voted AGAINST this amendment, but with some notable exceptions like Guto Bebb.
The amendment was defeated by 295 votes to 233.