THE GOVERNMENT’S proposed ban on the use of electoral roll data for direct marketing purposes looks set to go onto the statute books, although home secretary Jack Straw appeared to accept the need for commercial access to the roll by credit reference agencies.

During the second reading of the Representation of the People Bill, Straw said the government would seek to ensure that ‘full copies of the register are available to ... credit rating agencies so that they can check whether people are living at the address they claim’. A similar reference to direct marketing was conspicuous by its absence.