06/06/2018 16:01 BST | Updated 06/06/2018 17:05 BST

MPs To Debate Whether Dominic Cummings Is In Contempt Of Parliament

Controversial Brexit campaign figure reportedly plans to watch from the public gallery.

David Levenson via Getty Images
Dominic Cummings, former adviser to the Education Secretary Michael Gove, poses for a photograph 

MPs will debate whether Dominic Cummings is in contempt of Parliament – and the controversial Brexit campaign figure reportedly plans to watch it live from the public gallery. 

Speaker John Bercow granted Commons time for the discussion after it was claimed the key architect of the Vote Leave campaign was in “flagrant contempt of the House”. 

The accusation came from Damian Collin, chairman of the powerful Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, after Cummings refused to give evidence over targeted ads and the alleged misuse of Facebook data by the Brexit campaign. 

Bercow said: “Having considered the issue, I have decided that this is a matter to which I shall allow the precedence accorded to matters of privilege.”

The debate is set to take place on Thursday afternoon.

Cummings, who has apparently told friends he will travel to Parliament to watch the debate, has previously accused Collins, of “grandstanding”, telling the committee: “Your threats are empty... I will not come to your committee regardless of how many letters you send or whether you send characters in fancy dress to hand me papers.”

The committee is investigating the use of targeted online advertising during the 2016 referendum campaign, following allegations that Facebook users’ private data may have been misused.

It wants to question Cummings about Vote Leave’s use of online ad firm Aggregate IQ, which has been linked to SCL Group - the parent company of Cambridge Analytica - and which received 40% of the official Brexit campaign’s entire advertising budget.