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.