George Osborne has attacked Labour for including a clause that exempts Northern Rock from the Freedom of Information Act in their draft legislation for nationalisation.

Labour’s attempt to prevent the public from obtaining information about how the institution is managing public funds flies in the face of the FOI Act itself, which states that nationalised companies in Northern Rock’s situation must be subject to its measures.

The Shadow Chancellor described the clause as “completely unacceptable”, stressing:

“The public is now paying for this bank. We are entitled to know what it is doing with our money.”

And he accused Alistair Darling of “trying to cover his tracks” after his incompetent handling of the crisis.