Emergency Commons debate after Lib Dem MP John Hemming “intimidated” by solicitors

The BBC reports:

Commons Speaker John Bercow has granted MPs an emergency debate after one Member claimed he had been “intimidated” by a firm of solicitors.

Liberal Democrat John Hemming, who represents Birmingham Yardley, complained about an e-mail he had received from Withers LLP.

Mr Bercow said the MP believed it amounted to a “contempt of the House” and ordered a debate for Thursday. It was a matter “to which I should allow precedence”, he told the Commons.

Full story here.

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4 Comments

  • While I think parl privilidge is a good thing, it needs to be self regulating and very carefully and sparingly used. I do get the impression that john threatens to use it a little bit too regularly for my liking. I seem to remember he threatened to name individual social workers involved in a case in the house.

  • Malcolm Todd 14th Jan '10 - 11:04am

    According to the BBC story, the offending email was “dated 4 August 2009”. How does this become a matter of an emergency debate in January? Has John Hemming just checked his last six months’ emails?

  • I am struggling with the concept of John being intimidated….. 🙂

    Although like Anon I am wary of Parliamentary privilege being regarded as an ultimate trump card. It is an old and important value.

    However the Trafigura incident (however badly handled) was about whether legally privileged documents should be kept confidential (whether they were legally privileged was a matter for a future hearing at the time). That is also a pretty old and important value.

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