By Ian Dunt
David Cameron took the unprecedented step of refusing to answer an MP's questions during PMQs today, in a move which some parliamentarians said broke Westminster convention.
The prime minister appeared to be furious when listening to a question from shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant, who asked why he refused to reveal his communications with Rebekah Brooks, News International chief executive and a personal friend of Cameron's.
"I wouldn't smile," Bryant added, pointing at the prime minister.
"When the truth comes out, the prime minister won't be smiling."
Bryant had used a previous parliamentary session to suggest Cameron was inaccurate in some of his comments over the phone-hacking scandal. He was later slapped on the wrists by the Leveson inquiry for breaking an 'embargo' on publication of the material.
Cameron looked visibly enraged when he told Bryant he spoke "untruths" about him.
"And you know what, until he apologises, I'm not going to answer his questions," he said, to uproar in the Chamber.
Online commentators quickly concluded the prime minister was unwise to say he wouldn't answer Bryant's questions, because it fuelled the publicity around the phone-hacking scandal.
One MP later raised a point of order with Speaker John Bercow, asking if the prime minister can refuse to answer questions from MPs. The Speaker accepted it was within parliamentary rules.
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By Ian Dunt
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