Photography campaign taken to House of Lords (update)

July 10, 2008

The nationwide campaign to protect the rights of photographers taking pictures in public is to be raised in the House of Lords.

Lord Rosser of Ickenham will next week quiz the government over fears that police and other officials are imposing unfair restrictions on photography in public places.

He will ?ask Her Majesty?s Government what plans they have for reviewing the rules on street photography,? according to a schedule of House of Lords upcoming business.

The ?oral question? is due to be raised in the House of Lords on the afternoon of 16 July.

It is known privately that Lord Rosser is concerned about the plight of amateur photographers in relation to police and other officials.

He has telephoned Amateur Photographer (AP) magazine for advice on the nature of the problem.

Under Parliamentary rules, the tone of a question in the House of Lords must not express a point of view.

However, like many, he believes officials are sometimes overreacting and not applying as much common sense as they should.

We understand that Lord Rosser hopes to mention the worsening of the problem over the past six months and win the vocal support of fellow peers.

It is likely that he will also mention Austin Mitchell?s Early Day Motion (EDM) on the subject which now has the backing of more than one in three MPs.

The EDM ? tabled in the House of Commons in March ? had, at time of going to press, won cross-party support from 231 of the 646 elected members. The Great Grimsby MP drew on cases reported to AP when compiling the EDM (see AP 29 March).

It is unclear whether the Home Office or the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will be the government department required to answer the question in the chamber.

Richard Rosser is a former chair of the Labour Party (1997-98). He was made a peer as Baron Rosser of Ickenham, in the London Borough of Hillingdon, in 2004. He was made a Justice of the Peace in 1978.

Lord Rosser?s listed political interests include treatment of offenders, employment, transport and the criminal justice system.

House of Lords oral questions are addressed to the government as a whole, not to particular government departments as they are in the House of Commons.

The news comes as The Times newspaper today publishes a letter from Amateur Photographer magazine on the issue.

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