Speaker John Bercow orders protest inquiry
Wednesday 20 July 2011
Commons Speaker John Bercow has ordered an "entirely independent" investigation into how a protester was able to throw a plate of shaving foam at Rupert Murdoch in Parliament.
Jonathan May-Bowles was charged with a public order offence after the incident at yesterday's much-anticipated Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing.
The protester, who goes by the name Jonnie Marbles, threw a paper plate with white foam at the 80-year-old media mogul's face.
In a short statement to MPs, Mr Bercow said: "It is wholly unacceptable for a member of the public to treat, and to be able to treat, a witness in this way.
"It is all the more regrettable that such an incident should happen at a time when, particularly over the last few days, the work of this House and its committees has enhanced the reputation of Parliament.
"I have immediately set in hand an expert investigation into what took place, the reasons for the security failure and the lessons to be learned.
"This investigation will be entirely independent of the House authorities."
May-Bowles, 26, of Edinburgh Gardens, Windsor, was bailed to appear before City of Westminster Magistrates Court next Friday, July 29.
He is charged with behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress in a public place under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, Scotland Yard said.
John Whittingdale, who chairs the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, welcomed the inquiry announced by Mr Bercow.
Speaking during today's debate on public confidence in the media and police, he said: "I did think it was very important that Rupert and James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks came to Parliament.
"I was particularly sad their appearance was marred by the incident which the Speaker has referred to.
"It seemed to me not to serve the interests of those who dislike Rupert and James Murdoch. It distracted attention from the very important matters we were attempting to probe them on and it did no credit to Parliament or the committee that they were treated in that way.
"I believe the inquiry is extremely important."
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
food + drink
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Lee Rigby murder: How killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale became ultra-violent radicals
Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
Paul Walker death caused by speed alone
Apollo Theatre collapse: Scores injured after partial ceiling collapse on to audience in London's West End
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- < Previous
- Next >
£80000 - £120000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Risk - Delivery/...
£Negotiable: Citifocus: This is a new role carrying responsibility for a numbe...
£29999 - £40001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A top independent...
£90 - £130 per day + contributory pension scheme: Randstad Education Mancheste...