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Culture committee calls on Speaker for help over Cummings’ appearance

The DCMS Committee is calling on MPs intervene as it continues to seek evidence from former Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings for its fake news inquiry.

The committee has published a special report – including email correspondence between the two sides – to the House of Commons, and committee chair Damian Collins has written to the Speaker John Bercow, asking for a debate to obtain an order to compel Cummings to attend in person.

Cummings has rejected all attempts to have him appear so far, telling Collins that he would accept a request from another committee and accusing him of grandstanding.

In a typically forthright blog post last month, Cummings said: "You talk of contempt of Parliament. You seem unaware that most of the country feels contempt for Parliament and this contempt is growing… You spend your time on this sort of grandstanding instead of serving millions of people less fortunate than you and who rely on you."

"If you had wanted my evidence you would have cooperated over dates. You actually wanted to issue threats, watch me give in, then get higher audiences for your grandstanding."

He added: "Say what you like, I will not come to your committee regardless of how many letters you send or whether you send characters in fancy dress to hand me papers."

This morning, Collins said: "We need Dominic Cummings to appear before our committee as a witness, so that he can clarify evidence received by the committee about digital advertising during the EU referendum campaign. As the email correspondence attached to the report shows, we have made repeated, reasonable requests for him to appear, but so far he has refused to do this.

“The next stage in the process is for the committee to seek the support of the whole House to order him to attend and give evidence.

"It is now a matter for the Speaker to consider our request for the motion to be debated.”

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