Westferry Printworks Development

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:06 pm on 24th June 2020.

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Photo of Nick Smith Nick Smith Labour, Blaenau Gwent 3:06 pm, 24th June 2020

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.

I am glad to hear that the Secretary of State will release some of the papers related to the case, but in short, the rigmarole has become a farce. If, as the Secretary of State claims, he acted in good faith, we must get answers to the following questions. Did he, as Mr Desmond says, watch the promotional video at the Conservative fundraising dinner and then thank him? Did the Secretary of State inform his officials of that the next day? If so, what advice did they give him on receipt of that information? Those three questions lie at the heart of the rights and wrongs of the matter. They tease out whether, to use the Secretary of State’s words, the bias was apparent or real.

In the Secretary of State’s introduction, he was silent, then ambiguous about whether he watched the video. I invite Mr Desmond’s team, who surrounded the Secretary of State that night at the Conservative party fundraising dinner, to corroborate what Mr Desmond has said. If the Government really want to put the case to rest, the public deserve answers to those questions.