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MP threatened Facebook on Commons paper; LABOUR PARTY CHAIRMAN QUIZZED OVER USE OF OFFICIAL STATIONERY.

Byline: MICHAEL MUNCASTER michael.muncaster@trinitymirror.com @MichaelMjourno

A LEADING Labour MP is at the centre of a probe for using taxpayer-funded stationery to threaten Facebook with legal action.

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery claimed a number of social media pages in his constituency contained "serious, untrue and highly defamatory" comments about him.

And he sent a letter to administrators warning them they could face legal action if they did not remove the posts because they posed a "serious threat" to his reputation.

But a complaint has been made against the Labour Party chairman after he sent the letters using official notepaper with his masthead.

Now the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has confirmed it is investigating if Mr Lavery has breached the code of conduct which MPs must follow.

The code states: "Members shall ensure that their use of public resources is always in support of their parliamentary duties.

"It should not confer any undue personal or financial benefit on themselves or anyone else, or confer undue advantage on a political organisation."

Mr Lavery has declined the comment.

His letter, seen by us, said: "It has come to my attention that your social media pages contain serious, untrue and highly defamatory comments towards myself, some of which contain malicious falsehood.

"In allowing these posts, defamatory comments are being communicated to thousands of people throughout the world, posing a serious threat to my reputation.

"Having taken legal advice and in line with the pre-action protocol, I write to require you immediately to remove all defamatory comments and to ensure that they are not repeated and that no similar comments are published on your site.

"I reserve the right to take legal action to enforce my rights and in relation to the damage caused."

CAPTION(S):

The letter sent by Ian Lavery MP on headed notepaper

Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck, is under investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for STANDARDSCARL COURT

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 20, 2018
Words:318
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