Committee issues formal summons for Alexander Nix and Dominic Cummings to appear before Committee
10 May 2018
Alexander Nix of Cambridge Analytica and former campaign director of Vote Leave, Dominic Cummings, have each been issued with formal summons to appear before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.
- Letter to Alexander Nix, 10 May 2018
- Letter to Dominic Cummings, 10 May 2018
- Inquiry: Fake news
- Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
Mr Nix has been asked to appear on Wednesday 6 June, and Mr Cummings on Tuesday 22 May. Mr Cummings has been sent several invitations but has said he is not willing to give evidence while investigations by the Information Commissioner's Office and others are ongoing. Mr Nix has used a similar reason.
However, the ICO and the Electoral Commission have confirmed to the Committee that these witnesses' appearances before the Committee will not hinder their investigations in any way. Sub judice is only engaged when a case is before the courts.
Damian Collins MP, Chair of the DCMS Committee, said:
“Mr Nix has been given multiple opportunities to appear and clarify his evidence to the Committee, but now we expect him to appear on June 6. There are serious inconsistencies between Mr Nix's original testimony of 27 February, and evidence received under the inquiry since.
“We are summoning Mr Nix to Parliament to get to the truth about an extremely serious issue affecting over 1 million UK Facebook users, and potentially voters in elections worldwide.
“We hoped that Mr Cummings would have responded positively to our requests for him to appear, considering the allegations made against the Vote Leave campaign during our inquiry. 22 May will be his opportunity to clarify allegations about the unlawful coordination of EU referendum campaigns, campaign spending, and misuse of people's personal data.
“The Committee needs to get to the truth of what has happened. Mr Nix and Mr Cummings are important witnesses to the inquiry, and the Committee needs to hear from them.
“The Committee has made entirely reasonable requests of both witnesses, issuing invitations over a period of time, with clear reasons put forward for why it would like to speak to them. Ignoring or refusing our requests adds up to resisting being held accountable by a democratically elected legislature.
“Should Mr Nix or Mr Cummings fail to comply, the Committee can report the matter to the House. This could result in a decision that a contempt of Parliament has been committed.”
Mr Nix previously gave evidence to the Committee on 27 February 2018.
Future business of the Committee: AIQ, Arron Banks, Andy Wigmore and Facebook.
In addition, the Committee will hear evidence from Jeff Silvester from the Canadian firm AIQ on Wednesday 16 May and Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore of Leave.EU on Tuesday 12 June. More details on these sessions will be announced in due course.
The Committee wrote to Facebook on 1 May seeking answers to 39 separate, outstanding questions by the 11 May after its Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer gave evidence. Facebook has since told the Committee that it will respond to these questions, including a response on Mark Zuckerberg's appearance before the Committee, by 12 noon on Monday 14 May.