Transparency campaigners have hit back at minister Chris Grayling's comments that journalists use Freedom of Information (FoI) laws as a "research tool".

Grayling, Leader of the House of Commons, accused journalists of "misusing" the FoI Act to "generate" stories, and said it should be used for "those who want to understand why and how government is taking decisions".

It is, on occasion, misused by those who use it as, effectively, a research tool to generate stories for the media, and that is not acceptable.

He made the comment in the Commons ahead of a governmental review of the FoI Act, which the government says costs too much money.

Grayling's comments have particularly angered campaigners ahead of plans to impose new restrictions on FoI.

Bob Satchwell, director of the Society of Editors, said: "I'm dismayed. The whole point of the Freedom of Information Act was so the public could be better informed."

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