DCMS select committee issues formal summons to Cambridge Analytica’s Alexander Nix and Vote Leave’s Dominic Cummings to appear before them
DCMS select committee has today issued a formal summons to Alexander Nix and Dominic Cummings to give evidence as part of their inquiry into fake news and the spread of disinformation. It is extremely rare for an individual to ignore a formal summons.
In the letter sent to Nix, the committee said that they wished to ‘examine apparent inconsistencies’ in evidence he gave and other evidence they have received.
This action taken by the committee represents an escalation and suggests that they will not rest until they have had their questions answered.
Kyle Taylor, Director of The Fair Vote Project, said “It is deplorable that Nix has evaded facing UK MPs’ on matters that relate directly to our democratic processes and it is appalling how disempowered Parliament is when it comes to investigating alleged crimes against democracy.
Cambridge Analytica was forced to close after news broke that they had been involved in manipulating voters during elections around the world but there is still so much we don’t know about what they got up to and we have no assurances that it won’t happen again. It does not feel as if anyone has been punished for these alleged interferences in elections that have changed the fates of countries globally, including most recently suggestions that similar happened in our own Brexit referendum.
While it is admirable how fiercely Damian Collins is fighting to get those involved to give evidence, it is worrying that he is so limited in the powers available to him to get to the bottom of this. We must act soon to empower our regulatory bodies and update legislation around digital advertising during elections so that we can instil faith in our democratic processes, make sure that they truly are democratic and be sure this type of meddling doesn’t happen again.”
The Fair Vote Project was set up to tackle the issue of data misuse, voter manipulation and lack of transparency in elections head-on. We are committed to ensuring the institutions that protect our democratic processes are fit for purpose in a digital age.