Adrian Sanders MP compares the PCC to a “fishnet condom”

Enduring image of the day, and, I’ll warrant, its first entry in Hansard*, goes to Liberal Democrat MP Adrian Sanders for his contribution to yesterday’s emergency debate on phone hacking at the News of the World:

…when one considers the Press Complaints Commission, the phrase “chocolate teapot”, or indeed the phrase “fishnet condom”, comes to mind.

Our 2007 inquiry had elicited a response from News International that it had carried out a full inquiry itself and was satisfied that the Mulcaire-Goodman case was isolated. That was patently untrue. Our second inquiry encountered more obstacles: Goodman and Mulcaire refused to present evidence, as did Rebekah Brooks. More worrying were the attitude and answers of Scotland Yard.

I return to the point that I made to the Prime Minister today. We cannot have confidence in an investigation by the Metropolitan police; we can have confidence only in a full judicial inquiry with a judge who can take witnesses under oath, ask questions under oath, seek papers, and subpoena witnesses to appear. We desperately need that inquiry. Clearly, where there are allegations of criminal acts or there is the potential for collusion between suspects and the police, a more rigorous investigation is required than, sadly, a Select Committee can offer. It is also clear that we need to extend the scope beyond News International.

An exaggerated image to drive home a serious point that it’s time for the Press Complaints Commission to be reformed.

You can read the BBC live-blog of the debate here.

*”Chocolate teapots”, on the other hand, are to be found melting all over Hansard, notably Ofwat, turning the Intelligence and Security Committee into a Select Committee and the 1982 Budget.

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