Deadlock Over News International Executives' Punishment Parliament Neutered by Tom Crone Arrest

A senior parliamentary source tells Guido that the arrest of News of the World lawyer Tom Crone has thrown a mighty spanner in the works of the Standards and Privileges Committee. After the Culture Select Committee concluded that the three News International executives had misled the Parliament, the Standard’s Committee were deciding on a suitable punishment for Crone along with Colin Myler and Les Hinton. Having declared back in July that they would not be locking them up, the punishment most expected was admonishment from the Speaker at the bar of the House, though this has not happened since the fifties. However the minutes of the July meeting state:

“The Committee will suspend its inquiry if requested to do so by the Director of Public Prosecutions on the grounds that to continue might prejudice any pending legal proceedings or criminal investigations.”

As Guido understands it, there has not been a formal request, but the arrest of Crone means that no punishment passed, without risking prejudicing any future trial. As this issue is likely to take years rather than months to resolve, there is growing anger around the committees that the three executives are going to get away with their deception scot-free. Parliament has been neutered. 




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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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