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Gag? You'll Retch
October 12, 2009 4:14 PM   Subscribe

"Today's published Commons order papers contain a question to be answered by a minister later this week. The Guardian is prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found. The Guardian is also forbidden from telling its readers why the paper is prevented – for the first time in memory – from reporting parliament."

Parliamentary proceedings are traditionally "privileged" - exempt from the UK's plaintiff-friendly libel laws. Could this extraordinary action against the freedom of the British press have something to do with items 61, 62 and 63 on this order paper?

Coincidence, surely.
posted by WPW (14 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: blast and damn -- cortex

Fuck and alas, both these posts are good.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:15 PM on October 12, 2009

Dang. Self-flagged.
posted by WPW at 4:15 PM on October 12, 2009

Preview didn't warn me, even though at least one link is repeated.
posted by WPW at 4:16 PM on October 12, 2009

Doesn't parliamentary privilege only operate in the chamber though?
posted by Abiezer at 4:30 PM on October 12, 2009

I would have thought that written questions counted as parliamentary speech, but it would seem the matter isn't that straightforward.
posted by WPW at 4:36 PM on October 12, 2009

Wilkes and Liberty!
posted by Tashtego at 4:37 PM on October 12, 2009

I think you'll be right about that, what I mean is AFAIK the MP can ask it under privilege, but no-one beyond Westminster can report that it's happened with the same immunities.
posted by Abiezer at 4:38 PM on October 12, 2009

Shall we continue this in the earlier, less-certain-to-be-deleted thread?
posted by WPW at 4:41 PM on October 12, 2009

I'll see you in court first, you bean-spilling rotter!
I mean, yes, you're probably right.
posted by Abiezer at 4:43 PM on October 12, 2009

in before deletion!
posted by shmegegge at 4:52 PM on October 12, 2009

in before deletion!

Surely you mean in before censorship.
posted by jedicus at 4:54 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:54 PM on October 12, 2009

I like beer.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:13 PM on October 12, 2009

Did Dr. Strange ever drink beer?
posted by josher71 at 5:20 PM on October 12, 2009

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