Records belonging to Sir Alan Beith during his last three years as a MP could be destroyed immediately after the General Election, it has emerged.
More than 2,000 letters have been sent out to constituents who have contacted Sir Alan since 2012 asking them to inform him if they want the information to be either destroyed or transferred to the newly-elected member of parliament.
Clare Mills, from Sir Alan’s office, said that there was a ’huge amount to do’ with sorting through all the correspondence.
“Some of the things we deal with are sensitive and real live issues. They may not be resolved so they may want to transfer the files,” she said.
It is not essential that people reply if they are content for records to be destroyed. They would just have to let Sir Alan’s office know if they wanted to have the information transferred to his successor, particularly in ongoing cases.
The letter from Sir Alan states that ‘it is my intention to destroy all such information securely immediately after the General Election when I stand down from Parliament.’
The Data Protection Act states that this information must be destroyed.
Before 2012, correspondence was kept on a card index system which goes back to the 1970s. The Northumberland Archives in Berwick and Woodhorn has expressed an interest in this but access would only be available to legitimate researchers.
Contact the Alnwick office on 01665 602901 for further information.