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EU Referendum

PM refuses to face MPs for quiz over £9m pro-EU leaflet: David Cameron cites ‘heavy diary pressures’ for being unable to appear before committee

  • Cameron is invited to face questions from parliamentary liaison committee
  • Claimed he is too busy for grilling ahead of the EU referendum on June 23
  • Chairman Andrew Tyrie was ‘surprised and disappointed’ by his response
  • Eurosceptics called for £7m spending cap to be lifted as ‘in’ exceeded it 

The Prime Minister has rejected an invitation to appear before the liaison committee – made up of every select committee chairman – ahead of the EU referendum on June 23.

Mr Cameron has written to Andrew Tyrie, Tory chairman of the liaison committee, saying that ‘sadly… heavy diary pressures in the coming months’ meant he could not take questions from the MPs before the in-out referendum.

The Prime Minister has rejected an invitation to appear before the liaison committee ¿ made up of every select committee chairman ¿ ahead of the EU referendum on June 23

Cameron has written to Andrew Tyrie(pictured), Tory chairman of the liaison committee, saying that ¿sadly¿ heavy diary pressures in the coming months¿ meant he could not take questions before the referendum

Mr Tyrie said Mr Cameron should face scrutiny over the controversial mailshot, which has been dismissed by Leave campaigners as ‘propaganda’.

‘I am surprised and disappointed that the Prime Minister is currently refusing to appear before the committee to answer questions on the EU referendum,’ he said.

‘This is all the more disappointing given that the Prime Minister recently launched a 14-page Government document – to be sent to 27million households – setting out his, and his Government’s, case for remaining in the EU.’

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, who back the in campaign, defended the leaflets and urged Tories to reconsider the Finance Bill amendment
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, who back the in campaign, defended the leaflets and urged Tories to reconsider the Finance Bill amendment

Europe Minister David Lidington will today face furious MPs to give a Commons statement about the Government’s decision to use £9.3million of taxpayers’ money to create, print and deliver the pro-EU pamphlet and produce an associated website.

Mr Lidington pledged last year that there was ‘no question of the Government undertaking any paid advertising or promotions such as billboards, doorstops, leaflets or newspaper or digital advertising’. But his vow only applied to the final 28 days ahead of voting day.

Eurosceptic MPs have called for the spending cap on the Out campaign to be lifted, after the Government exceeded the £7million maximum allowed for each side by sending out the leaflet.

Veteran Tory MP Bill Cash will today attempt to use an amendment to the Budget to scrap the limit for those supporting Brexit.

He said his amendment to the Finance Bill would be backed by MPs from all parties because many felt ‘the lack of impartiality in this document is absolutely atrocious’.

Public fury over the leaflet has also mounted, with almost 200,000 signing an online petition calling for the leaflet to be pulped.

But Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, whose brother Roland plays a leading role in the Britain Stronger In Europe campaign, defended the leaflets and urged Tories to reconsider the Finance Bill amendment.

She told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘The fact is, it has precedent – this is what the Government did in 1975 and, as the Prime Minister has often said, this Government is not neutral on this matter. We believe that we are stronger and safer in a reformed EU, so it’s right the Government makes the case.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3533058/PM-refuses-face-MPs-quiz-9m-pro-EU-leaflet-David-Cameron-cites-heavy-diary-pressures-unable-appear-committee.html

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