Commons to debate News International misleading parliament

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John Bercow announced the debate today
John Bercow annunced the debate today

MPs will debate attempts by News International executives' to mislead parliament tomorrow, in a historic Commons session.

The debate – which could coincide with Tom Watson's testimony to the Leveson inquiry – will see MPs respond to the media committee's report into phone-hacking.

That report saw the previously cross-party committee divide mostly along political lines, as Labour and Lib Dem MPs said Rupert Murdoch was "unfit" to run a media company.

But all MPs on the committee agreed senior executive Les Hinton, News International lawyer Tom Crone and former News of the World editor Colin Myler misled parliament.


it is not clear how the executives will be punished, given they did not give evidence to the committee under oath.

The Commons will debate whether to refer the report to the standards and privaliges committee.

From there, a new 'contempt of parliament' offence could be created or they could be sent to the bar of the House of Commons to apologise.

Media committee chair John Whittingdale MP tabled the following motion this afternoon: "That this House notes the conclusions set out in chapter 8 of the eleventh report from the culture, media and sport committee, session 2010–12, on News International and phone-hacking, HC 903-I, and orders that the matter be referred to the committee on standards and privileges."

The Commons debate was announced on the same day the parliamentary standards commissioner announced an investigation into claims Jeremy Hunt failed to register donations from media companies while in opposition.
 

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