Wednesday, 21 April 2021

LYING IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IS NOW ACCEPTABLE - WHAT CAN WE DO?


Ian Lucas was the Labour MP for Wrexham from 2001-2019, standing down as the candidate before the 2019 election. On the 14 March 2018, he cross-examined Matt Hancock during the proceedings of a parliamentary sub-committee which was investigating why Part Two of the Leveson inquiry had not been held. 


 Ian Lucas - Labour MP for Wrexham (2001-2019)



Here are his thoughts at this present time in the spring of 2021:  

Looking back now, three years on, this exchange was a big part of my decision to stand down from Parliament the following year. I was always told that telling the truth was a fundamental part of Parliamentary process for a Member. I remembered, even as a child, reading about John Profumo and how his career had ended because he had told a lie to the House of Commons Chamber. It was my view that Hancock had misled me in the Commons Chamber and I thought I had exposed it in my cross-examination of him. What astonished me was his lack of contrition. What also astonished me was how little interest the press took in the exchange. I do not remember ever being asked by a journalist about the cross-examination. It seemed to me that telling the truth in Parliament no longer mattered.


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And here is part of the transcript of that cross-examination: 


Ian Lucas: Secretary of State, I was in the Chamber for that statement and I was very concerned about what Sir Brian Leveson’s position was on this matter. When I listened to you my

understanding was that his position was exactly the opposite of what you are now saying it was…….


Ian C. Lucas: Can I tell you why this is important? We have tried to proceed on a basis of consensus thus far on an important area of policy. You are a new Secretary of State and you stood up in the House of Commons and you represented Sir Brian Leveson’s position. I think you misrepresented his position and I have told you why. Sir Brian Leveson fundamentally disagreed with the Government’s conclusion. Those are not my words, those are Sir Brian Leveson’s words. Why should I believe you today?


Matt Hancock: Because everything I said then was accurate and I represented the position of his letter as a whole, that he believed that the inquiry should continue. I was standing up to explain that I thought that taking everything into account, all the changes since the Leveson Inquiry—all the changes in law, the fact that IPSO now exists—I decided that the best thing is not to have a backward-looking inquiry but a forward-looking inquiry.


Ian Lucas: I know what your position is. What I am saying to you is that you misrepresented Sir Brian Leveson’s position to the Commons on that day.


Matt Hancock: That is your view. We are not going to come to an agreement on it. I think I have faithfully represented it, as you read out. I can see that you would rather I had done differently.


Ian C. Lucas: No, what I would rather is that you had been straightforward. I am a lawyer; I know when particular words are drafted for particular purposes, and I think your words were drafted to mislead. That is what I think.


Matt Hancock: All I can say—


Ian Lucas: What I would have preferred would be if you quoted Sir Brian Leveson when he said that he fundamentally disagreed with the conclusion that the Government had reached.


Matt Hancock: I can see that that is your preference. I wrote my speech in order to describe his position and that is that.


Ian Lucas: My preference, Secretary of State, is for honesty and straightforward evidence. I would welcome that from you.


Matt Hancock: Noted.


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Yes, we note your arrogance and chutzpah, Mr Hancock. You are a liar, just like the man who appointed you - see this link to my latest blogpost on Mr Johnson.


Ian Lucas declined to spend any more of his life in parliamentary politics - but he is still campaigning through Hacked Off for an end to this misgovernment of our society. 


I support Hacked Off. Will you?


 



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