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Houses of Parliament Satire Charlie Brooker

Charlie Brooker sparks MP debate on House of Commons footage ban for political satire shows


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

March 3, 2016 | 3 min read

Charlie Brooker has sparked a debate about a ban on the use of House of Parliament footage in the name of satire.

The TV presenter complained that he was unable to use video from the UK chamber in his show Newswipe – all in the spirit of having a laugh, while providing vital current affairs coverage.

Ealing Labour MP Rupa Huq posed the question to the house today (3 March). The MP is the sister of Blue Peter’s Konnie Huq, who is in turn, married to Brooker who made the initial complaint.

UK political satire Have I Got News For You, and other shows in a similar vein, are systematically denied the use of such footage, as a result Huq asked for "a statement on the uses of broadcast footage of the House of Commons."

She said: “My constituent Charlie Brooker has raised with me that he is unable to use it in his programme, Screenwipe – whereas other not dissimilar broadcasts are allowed to us it.

“It depends whether it’s satire, light entertainment, or factual. Given how vague these boundaries are and the fact that these rules were dreamed up some 27 years ago would he agree with me it’s a good juncture to revisit this and give a statement?”

Responding to the accusation that MPs are afforded too much protection from satire, Conservative MP Chris Grayling said it would not be “appropriate” to enable the use of the footage in satirical programmes, a parliament subclause that has been in place since 1989.

Grayling answered: “I think its very important the coverage of this House is used in an appropriate way, I am not in favour of it being made available for satire programmes."

Under the rules, Brooker was unable to use the following footage of Rupert Murdoch being hit in the face with a pie in his 2011 Screenwipe.

Houses of Parliament Satire Charlie Brooker

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