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Speaker to investigate Blair F1 claim

NEWS STORY
14/10/2008

Michael Martin, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has said he will investigate whether Tony Blair "deliberately misled" Parliament over his dealings with Bernie Ecclestone and that the (then) Prime Minister personally intervened in an attempt to exempt Formula One from the impending tobacco ban in 1997.

Martin, is no stranger to controversy himself, what with rows over expenses, including those of his wife, claims of impartiality - he was appointed by Blair's government - and even the alleged use of air miles gained from official trips to fly members of his family in business class from Glasgow to London for a New Year break.

Martin promised to look into the Blair case following complaints from two Conservative MPs, John Maples and Peter Luff, who claim that the latest evidence proves Blair "lied" to Parliament.

"I urge you to give us a lead in this so that we can insist on full and truthful answers from ministers and a sanction against those who deceive us,'' Maples told Martin in the House on Monday.

Martin subsequently asked Maples and Luff to write to him in order that officials can investigate the matter.

"I am deeply concerned that two Honourable Members have said they were deliberately misled," he said. "And albeit that the person concerned is out of the House, I am deeply concerned about that matter.''

A spokesperson for Blair said that the new documents, issued under the Freedom of Information Act, over two years after they were first requested, reveal nothing new.

In other words a typical case of New Labour's; 'nothing to see here, kindly move along please'.

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