UK parliament “snubbed” as Facebook boss heads to Brussels

The chair of the DCMS Committee has sent MEPs a series of questions to put to Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg "as he continues to snub UK Parliament".

The tech tycoon will meet with President Antonio Tajani and attend the Conference of Presidents of the Political Groups of the European Parliament on Tuesday afternoon. For the first time this will be live streamed.

The Parliamentary Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will take part in the meeting, which Tajani said was "very positive".

He added: "It is a sign of respect for the legislator of the worlds largest market. I also appreciated that he has accepted my request that the meeting be directly open to all citizens.”

However, back in Westminster Damian Collins MP is yet to receive an acceptance to his request that Zuckerberg give evidence to the DCMS Committee as part of its ongoing inquiry into Cambridge Analytica's harvesting of millions of Facebook users' data without their knowledge.

This letter, which has also been sent to Zuckerberg, "addresses the unanswered questions by Facebook" following the chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer's appearance at the start of May. That includes a request for detailed information about what Zuckerberg knew regarding the breach, including when he found out, how much Russian money has been spent on political advertising, the use of custom audiences and concerns around fake accounts.

Collins said: “The Facebook data breach was executed in the UK and the data went to a UK company, affecting more than one million UK users. The UK Parliament therefore should be able to question Mark Zuckerberg about this and the lessons to be learned from it, and we remain open to him giving evidence.

“But if Mark Zuckerberg chooses not to address our questions by directly, we are asking colleagues at the European Parliament to help us get answers- particularly on who knew what at the company, and when, about the data breach and the non-transparent use of political adverts which continue to undermine our democracy.”

Collins has previously threatened Zuckerberg with a summons that will force him to appear before parliament the next time he enters the UK.

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