British MPs banned from tweeting in the Commons

January 20th, 2011 - 1:06 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 20 (ANI): British MPs were on Wednesday banned from using the Twitter microblogging website while sitting in the House of Commons.

Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle gave the ruling after Labour’s Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) demanded to know why Liberal Democrat Julian Huppert (Cambridge) tweeted that shadow education secretary Andy Burnham had refused to meet education access advocate Simon Hughes, reports the Daily Mail.

“I am glad you have brought it to my attention. I am sure no honourable member will be tweeting from the chamber to let the outside world know what is going on,” he told Brennan.

Huppert looked somewhat aghast as Brennan raised a point of order during a debate on the Educational Maintenance Allowance.

“The honourable member for Cambridge is tweeting from chamber right now that the shadow secretary of state has refused to meet the honourable member for the Liberal Democrats on the front bench when in fact the shadow secretary of state has already met him and is prepared to meet him at any time,” said the Labour MP, who has his own Twitter account.

“Is it in order during the course of a debate for a member to seek to make points about participants in that debate without doing it here so everybody can hear the points that they are making and have the opportunity to rebut them,” he asked.

The row was sparked by Huppert’s tweet that read: “Ah, Andy Burnham’s real agenda leaks out. Simon Hughes, in charge of developing a better replacement, offers to work with him. He refuses.”

“Very disappointing; labour want a fight, not a solution. I realise this is opposition, but I’d hoped for a more constructive approach!”, the Cambridge MP said in a separate tweet.

The decision comes after a historic ruling from the country’s most senior judge, allowing court cases to be reported using Twitter. (ANI)

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