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  1. ITV Report

John Bercow 'could consider contempt of privilege' if Government fails to release Brexit impact assessments

Speaker John Bercow said he would consider accusations of a breach of privilege or contempt of parliament if the Government fails to release Brexit impact assessments.

A Labour motion which asked for a "humble address" requesting the Queen to direct Brexit Secretary David Davis to release the documents.

It comes after 120 MPs signed a letter demanding Davis to "come clean" and publish the 58 studies showing the potential economic impact of Brexit.

The Government has resisted releasing the reports claiming that it would weaken Brexit negotiations.

Sir Keir Starmer asked the Speaker if failure to comply with the motion is contempt of the House.

Responding to a point of order from shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, Bercow said: "Consistent with that established pattern, I would expect the Vice-Chamberlain of the Household to present the humble address in the usual way.

"When I'm asked, as I think I was, by (Sir Keir) about contempt or breach of privilege.

"What I would say to (Sir Keir) is that if anybody wishes to make an accusation of a breach of privilege or a contempt of the House, that must be done in writing to the Speaker.

"If I receive such a representation in writing, I will consider it and apply my best endeavours and take advice in reaching a view and reporting it to the House."

Contempt of privilege is a term used to describe any act, or failure to act, that may prevent or hinder the work of either House of Parliament.

Examples of contempt include giving false evidence to a parliamentary committee,threatening an MP, forging documents or attempting to bribe members.