Senior MP calls for answers from ex-Cambridge Analytica boss

Former chief executive of Cambridge Analytica Alexander Nix giving evidence. Picture: PA Wire
Former chief executive of Cambridge Analytica Alexander Nix giving evidence. Picture: PA Wire
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The former boss of Cambridge Analytica (CA) clashed with a senior MP after he was blocked from reading a prepared statement to a Commons committee inquiry into fake news.

Alexander Nix has been recalled to give evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, after questions were raised about evidence which he supplied at a hearing in February.

Mr Nix warned MPs his answers would be constrained by the fact he is facing investigation by authorities in the UK and US over CA’s alleged involvement in the misuse of Facebook users’ data.

And he accepted his answers in February – when he denied working with the Leave.EU campaign in the 2016 Brexit referendum – “could have been clearer”.

But he was interrupted by committee chair Damian Collins, who insisted he would not allow witnesses to read out prepared statements, rather than responding to questions.

After Mr Nix made several attempts to restart the statement, Mr Collins cut him short, telling him: “The way this works is we ask questions and witnesses answer them.”

The former CA boss told him: “Mr Collins, you will have plenty of opportunity to ask me as many questions as you want, but I have to insist on delivering the rest of this statement.”

Mr Collins responded: “I’m sorry, Mr Nix, it is not your place to insist on anything in front of this committee.”

Earlier, he had allowed Mr Nix to read a short statement explaining the circumstances of his return to give evidence.