Thursday, January 14, 2010

Plots thickening.

If you recall, way back in the summer of 2009, John Hemming distributed a leaflet which was considered by some to allege that a property developer had purchased plots of land at the Swan Centre to hinder the new Tesco development. M'learned friends became involved and a legal threat winged towards the MP, at which John decided that discretion was the better part of valour and issued an apology on his blog.

Since August, this email has clearly rankled with John, so an emergency debate has been called for tomorrow and the full text of the email has now been published.

On the one hand, there would seem to be a case to answer for Withers, in that they have tried to get an undertaking from an MP not to repeat an allegedly libellous statement even from behind the protection of Parliamentary privilege.
an undertaking not to repeat the allegations or any similar allegations, particularly in Parliament.

On the other hand, John has obviously accepted that the developer concerned is not engaging in spoiling tactics to delay the Swan redevelopment, but has genuine concerns and is seeking to voice them despite the compulsory purchase order process, so it would seem unreasonable of him to then abuse privilege to repeat a statement that he publicly accepts to be false.

So, is John Hemming on a crusade to protect the primacy of parliamentary free speech? Is he using this to gain some publicity for himself? Or is there something else going on in the background?

I initially thought that this was publicity-seeking, but now, I suspect that there is something else going on.

All most peculiar.


john said...

If you read the words carefully on my weblog you will note that there is no contradiction between what is said on my weblog and what I have said in parliament.

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