Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cameron's undisclosed meetings with Murdoch

The following is from Hansard in the Commons this afternoon, linked here.

Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab):
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Last July the Prime Minister—I tried to warn him that I would raise this point of order; obviously he has now left the Chamber—published a list of all the meetings he had had with proprietors, editors and senior media executives between May 2010 and July 2011. It details only one meeting with Rupert Murdoch between May and July 2011. However, this afternoon Rupert Murdoch—this has been published by the Leveson inquiry—made it clear that there were meetings with the Prime Minister on 18 May, 25 May, 21 July, another on 21 July, and 22 July. My point of order is to ask you whether something that is laid in the Library of the House is just as much a matter of privilege as something that is said. In other words, if someone has tabled something in the Library that has misled the House, is that just as serious a matter as something said in the Chamber?
Mr Speaker:
All Members, including the Prime Minister, are responsible for the accuracy of what they say to the House, and my implicit assumption is that that includes material lodged with the House. I am happy to take further advice on that, but there is an encouraging nod from the Clerk of the House from a sedentary position, and that provides me with succour. Beyond that, I simply say that Members should be careful what they say if—I emphasise if—they are not asking a question, but making an accusation. I say that simply for the general knowledge and enrichment of the House. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order.

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