Tony Blair reacts to photo petition ‘alarm’
April 16, 2007
The government has officially responded to a photographer?s Downing Street petition concerning photography in public places saying it has confused and even alarmed the public.
The ?e-petition? ? which has attracted over 65,000 signatures ? was posted on the Downing Street website in February, calling for the Prime Minister to ?stop proposed restrictions regarding photography in public places?.
But its wording misled many into believing that the government was planning to introduce such legislation – forcing No 10 to issue a response ahead of the petition’s closing date of 14 August, to ‘clear up the confusion’.
AP?s investigations found that the petition was largely fuelled by a photo enthusiast?s idea to launch a self-styled ID card and had nothing to do with government policy whatsoever (see web link below).
Responding to the petition, via the No 10 website, the government said in a statement: ?Not surprisingly, the idea that the government might be poised to restrict your ability to take photos has caused some puzzlement and even alarm.
?The government appreciates that millions of people in this country enjoy photography. So we have checked carefully to see if any government department was considering any proposal that might possibly lead to the sort of restrictions suggested by this petition. We have been assured this is not the case.?
The statement adds: ?There may be cases where individual schools or other bodies believe it is necessary to have some restrictions on photography, for instance to protect children, but that would be a matter for local decisions.?
Acknowledging that Taylor?s petition has ?since made it clear that he was not really referring to government action or legislation? the statement continues: ?His main concern appears to be that photographic societies and other organisations may introduce voluntary ID cards for members to help them explain why they are taking photographs. Again, any such scheme, would not involve the government.?
Click here to read the government?s full response:
See here for AP?s clarification of the petition:
Click here for our investigation into the Downing Street petition: