Keighley and Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins has backed new legislation which will allow the press and public to film and tweet from any local government meeting, including town and parish councils.

The Local Audit and Accountability Act has received Royal Assent and is due to come into legal effect later this year.

The Act also extends the council tax referendum provisions introduced in the Localism Act so taxpayers have the power to veto excessive council tax increases.

And it introduces new measures to protect the independent free press from unfair competition by town hall newspapers by strengthening the legal status of the existing publicity code for local authorities.

Mr Hopkins, said: “These revisions to the law seek to further safeguard the use of public money, and will help local people better hold their councils and other local public bodies to account for local spending decisions.

“The new Act will also protect the rights of taxpayers to inspect the accounts and raise objections if they believe there are issues on which the auditor should report.

“As I have said so often in recent times, any public body which is spending taxpayers’ money responsibly has nothing to fear and, indeed, should welcome more light being shone on its decision-making processes.

“But those councils and other institutions which are being reckless or evasive will be found out and made more accountable for their actions than ever before.

“This Act is good news for people power and democracy in action.”