BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: Michael Crick
« Previous | Main | Next »

'Grandstanding' senators

Michael Crick | 18:13 UK time, Wednesday, 28 July 2010

It's fascinating to see US senators blow their tops over the refusal of the former Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, and the Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill to appear before a Senate committee to answer questions over the Lockerbie affair.

It naturally prompts the question about whether any Westminster select committee at Westminster has ever got a US government official - or former official - to appear before them for a good grilling?

When asked today, the clerk of Commons committees couldn't think of any examples. The nearest similar case he could come up with is when several European MEPs appeared before a committee some years ago.

The former chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Mike Gapes, says his committee never tried to interview a US official during his time, and would never have dreamt of doing so. Not even during all the rows about the Iraq War.

"These senators are just grandstanding," Gapes told me.


  • Comment number 1.


    Maybe they thought: "If that Dave Cameron can do it . . . "

  • Comment number 2.

    Just watching Alex Salmond, stating his prime argumnet, why should we send ministers over to the US, when there have been no recorded incidents of US sentaors going to another parliamntry jurisdicition, to answer questions. For instance US senstors were invited to the UK to answer to the Chilcott enquiry and refused.

    So why is it ok, for the British Governnet to allow our citizens to be extradited to the US for trials, and questioning?

    One rule for the Ministers, and another for the everyday UK citizen, who is expendable?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.