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David Cameron (finally) answers Chris Bryant’s Leveson question (sort of)

19 October 2012

David Cameron was very grumpy with Labour’s Chris Bryant at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, sniping that as Bryant hadn’t apologised to him for speaking in the Commons about embargoed information, he wouldn’t answer his question. Bryant and his colleague Harriet Harman have made a bit of a stink about this, and today the Prime Minister wrote back to Labour’s deputy leader saying the following:

Dear Harriet,

Thank you for your letter of 17 October about my evidence to the Leveson Inquiry.

As you will be aware, on 25 April, Chris Bryant made a point of order in the House in which he suggested that I had misled the House. In making this statement, based on confidential information obtained as a Core Participant to the Leveson Inquiry, he broke an Order made under the Inquiries Act 2005. The information he used was inaccurate and therefore the suggestion that I had misled the House was not correct. Chris Bryant has apologised to Lord Justice Leveson for his actions and he has apologised to the House for misleading it. However, he has not yet apologised to me.

I am, however, happy to respond to your questions in full. As you know, I set up the Leveson Inquiry. I have co-operated fully with the Inquiry and given them all the material that they have asked for.

I am placing a copy of this letter in the Library of the House.

(Signed David Cameron)

Although the PM is stressing here that he has co-operated fully with Leveson, he’s also answering Bryant’s question via Harman, which makes the whole exchange seem a little like a row at primary school. He also points out again that the shadow Home Office minister still hasn’t apologised to him, and hence he’s not speaking to him, ner-ner-ni-ner-ner, or swapping his packed lunch for a football sticker. Bryant probably won’t be expecting to be invited to Cameron’s birthday party any time soon.

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Show comments
  • anyfool

    David Cameron (finally) answers Chris Bryant’s Leveson question (sort of)
    Who the hell cares, is this what people are reduced to, pointless questions about a pointless enquiry, called in response to a pointless man EM by a panicking Prime Minister?

  • Holby18

    I thought Mr Bryant was rude, belligerent and personal. I thought PMQs was supposed to be about matters effecting the electorate, policy etc etc. Mr Bryant is obsessed with hacking whilst we are bored to death with it. Disclosure of Mail was arranged between government lawyers and lawyers on the Leveson enquiry. What has this got to do with Mr Bryant. I would like to ask Mr Bryant how he rationalises letting out his flat making some £900 a month on top of mortgage payments and charges the taxpayer rent? Just a thought given he was a clergyman where morality matters.

  • dorothy wilson

    Bryant is an odious little creep.

    • Vulture

      He is indeed, Dottie – but then Cameron is as slippery as an eel coated in KY jelly and he hasn’t actually given the odious little creep an answer.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Indeed he is. The underpants man!

  • HooksLaw

    Pardon me but when dealing with Harman and Bryant you are indeed dealing with schoolchildren.

    On the subject of Harman it was of course disgusting to see her getting all outraged over Jimmy Saville given that when she worked for Amnesty she argued in favour of PIE’s case and ‘once advocated the watering down of child pornography laws’

    Given the nature of the people facing him every Wednesday I think we should be congratulating our Prime minister on his heroic restraint.

  • Paul

    To be fair, I did think the way Bryant worded his question at PMQs was pathetic and deserved Cameron’s contempt.

    • ScaryBiscuits

      Parliament exists to bring members of the executive to account, not to be polite to them. MPs answer to their constituents for how they word their questions, not to the PM. If the PM, who is hardly a model of politness in the house himself, has a problem with the behaviour of another MP he should make a complaint to the speaker; otherwise he should answer the question, as democracy demands.

      • telemachus

        But then Cameron is a “ner-ner-ni-ner-ner” childish schoolboy who has not matured from his mind being addled by spifs in his youth
        I came across this telling note from a 2007 Telegraph

        When he was 15, he and a number of other boys were embroiled in a drugs
        scandal. It is understood that an internal inquiry into drug taking at the
        school was prompted by police reports of Etonians buying cannabis in nearby
        Slough. When the future leader of the Conservative Party was questioned by a
        senior teacher, he admitted smoking the drug.

        He was fined and “gated” – rather than expelled – which meant
        that he had to stay within the grounds of the college and lost
        “privileges”. He also had to copy out a georgic – a lengthy Latin

        • ScaryBiscuits

          Telemachus, I’m no fan of Cameron but I have no idea why you think his behaviour when he was 15 has any bearing whatsoever on today’s discussion or indeed my previous comment on democratic accountability. Your gleeful telling of tales does not reflect well on your own character.

          • The Crunge

            Let me explain. Telemachus is a monumentally stupid individual who believes that a torrent of unsubstantiated nonsense, abuse and sloganising is the same thing as rational, evidence based argument. Should he read something in the Daily Mirror and it suits his prejudices he puts two and two together and gets e = mc2. David Cameron is a decent human being with flaws and strengths just like the rest of us. For Telemachus however he is the devil incarnate simply because his answer to every question does not chime identically with his own view of the world.

            • telemachus

              I was thinking of giving you a rational reply to your question on multiculturalism when you butted in on this rational debate on Cameron’s competence.
              You are correct that he is a thoroughly decent human being and I quite like the caricature.
              That is not the point
              The points are actually twofold
              One as said on the RBS thread he does not have what it takes to understand our complex economy and return us to growth.
              The other is that he is as Isabel spotted still mired in his schoolboy role.
              I was actually simply quoting the Telegraph to give us all a little understanding

          • telemachus

            Remember the the Jesuit maxim “Give me a child for for his first seven years and I’ll give you the man”
            How much more in teenage years.

        • Fergus Pickering

          So what, Tel. What is your point? If he hadn’t been smoking the weed that everybody else was smoking, that WOULD have been a bit dodgy. How’s your smoking by the way? I think you must be on the strong stuff..

          • telemachus

            I quite like Vimto

      • Paul

        I realise that questions in PMQs are unlikely to be civil, but it does strike me that if you ask a question rudely, you’re likely to get a rude reply back. Bryant loves to dish it out, but is incapable of taking it.

  • rongraves

    Cameron complaining about others lying to Parliament?

    Er, Pot to Kettle . . .

    • HooksLaw

      You are bonkers. What lies?

      • ScaryBiscuits

        Ooh, where to start..perhaps…
        Reducing debt, no the deficit, no wait… that’s going up too now.

        • HooksLaw

          Lies ?– come off it. its easy hyperbole to spout but when it comes down to it is just base self serving prejudice.
          The BBC headline re the deficit says its lower than last year.

          • ScaryBiscuits

            Hookslaw, if you base your information on just that from the BBC, you are likely to be quite ill-informed. Just ask Jimmy’s victims. The deficit did indeed decrease in the last financial year, the 12 months to March. However, since then progress has reversed and the deficit in the 12 months to September is now higher than the equivalent period last year. See Isabel Harding et al’s posts on this site for more details. BTW you called the previous poster mad and me of spouting hyperbole and self-serving prejudice. You might express yourself better if you stopped confusing smears with arguments.

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