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Chair comments on the Dominic Cummings Matter of Privilege

27 March 2019

The Committee of Privileges published its Report: Conduct of Mr Dominic Cummings on 27 March 2019.

DCMS Committee Chair comment

Damian Collins MP has commented on the Matter of Privilege referred to the Committee on 28 June 2018 inquiry in the case of Dominic Cummings:

“I welcome the decision by the Committee of Privileges that finds Dominic Cummings in contempt of Parliament, and that he be admonished by the House of Commons for his refusal to appear before my Committee's inquiry into Disinformation and ‘fake news'. His calculated behaviour to draw out the process and defy escalating orders to attend demonstrated a total disregard for the authority of Parliament, and has now placed him in contempt of the House. I welcome the Committee's recognition that Dominic Cummings' refusal to attend constituted a significant interference in the important work we did under the Disinformation and ‘fake news' inquiry.

“The Dominic Cummings case also highlights the need for parliament to define in law what its powers should be to require witnesses to attend hearings, and what sanctions should apply if they do not.

“The DCMS Committee has been forced to rely on a number of different strategies to compel reluctant witnesses to give evidence.

“In my evidence to the House of Commons Liaison Committee's own inquiry into the Select Committee system, I'm calling for statutory powers to reassert the authority that is missing. The current powers have been tested to their limits and found wanting. I also welcome the Privileges Committee's announcement that it will shortly resume its inquiry into powers, and look forward to contributing.”

Further information

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