Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960

The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which allowed members of the public and press to attend meetings of certain public bodies. The Act is notable for having been initiated as a private member's bill drawn up by Margaret Thatcher, and also for being introduced in a maiden speech, a unique feat for successful legislation.[2]: 49  On 5 February 1960,[3] Thatcher's speech was delivered without notes, and was lauded as the best maiden speech amongst the 1959 new intake.[2]: 49 

Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act, 1960[1]
Long titleAn Act to provide for the admission of representatives of the press and other members of the public to the meetings of certain bodies exercising public functions.
Citation8 & 9 Eliz. 2 c. 67
Introduced byMargaret Thatcher
Territorial extentEngland and Wales and Scotland
Royal assent27 October 1960
Commencement1 June 1961
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

The Act was introduced primarily to prevent circumvention of rules prohibiting councils from excluding the press by calling a Committee of the Whole,[2]: 47–8  a tactic that had been used by Labour-controlled councils during an industrial dispute in the printing industry in 1958. A similar bill had been introduced a number of years earlier by Lionel Heald, who helped guide Thatcher through the legislative process.


  1. ^ Short title as conferred by s. 3 of the Act; the modern convention for the citation of short titles omits the comma after the word "Act"
  2. ^ a b c Blundell, John (2008). Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady. New York: Algora Publishing. ISBN 978-0-87586-630-7.
  3. ^ "HC S 2R [Public Bodies (Admission of the Press to Meetings) Bill] (Maiden Speech) - Margaret Thatcher Foundation".

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