Statement from Linda McAvan regarding the European Parliament's 'Facebook Chat' concerning the Tobacco Products Directive on 22nd October

24 October 2013

I agreed to participate in a 'Facebook chat' organised by the European Parliament's communications unit on the Tobacco Products Directive on Tuesday 22nd October. On Wednesday morning I was made aware that online forums had suggested that I had responded to questions posted by members of staff at the European Parliament - a fact I was unaware of at the time. I immediately contacted the head of the European Parliament’s communication unit to ask him to investigate what had happened, issue a statement and take corrective action.

When responding to the questions during the chat, I did not know, and had no way of knowing details about the individuals posting the questions.

I tried to offer informative answers to a variety of questions, from different perspectives, however I do not respond to those who pose abusive comments or questions, nor am I obliged to.

At no time did my own staff nor anyone instructed by me post questions to the online debate and I answered all questions myself.

I have asked the European Parliamentary authorities for a full explanation of what happened and I will continue in my efforts to represent the European Parliament’s position on this issue.

 

Linda McAvan

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