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Heather Brooke: My Battle to Expose Government Corruption

Filmed Jun 2012

Our leaders need to be held accountable, says journalist Heather Brooke. And she should know: Brooke uncovered the British Parliamentary financial expenses that led to a major political scandal in 2009. She urges us to ask our leaders questions through platforms like Freedom of Information requests -- and to finally get some answers.

Heather Brooke campaigns for freedom of information, requesting one secret document at a time

Posted October 18, 2012


Heather Brooke is a freelance journalist and freedom of information campaigner. In 2005, she filed one of the very first requests under the UK's Freedom of Information Act, asking to see the expense reports of Members of Parliament. The request was blocked, modified and refiled, and blocked again...but the years-long quest to view expense documents, and the subsequent investigation, led to 2009's parliamentary expenses scandal. The scandal led to the first forced resignation of the Speaker of the House in 300 years.

Brooke worked as a political and crime reporter in the US before moving to Britain, where she writes for the national papers. She has published three books: Your Right to KnowThe Silent State, and 2011's The Revolution Will Be Digitised. It was while researching her latest book that she obtained a leak from Wikileaks of the full batch of 251,287 US diplomatic cables and worked with The Guardian newspaper on an investigation.

"Her investigation not only exposed abuses of the political system, but also highlighted secrets of information control and censorship that lie at the heart of a UK government that has operated for years without sufficient public scrutiny."

Aleks Krotoski, Observer, April 2010

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