London: Britain on Wednesday announced an
independent probe into the security lapse that allowed a
protester to launch a dramatic foam-pie attack on media mogul
Rupert Murdoch at a major parliamentary committee hearing.
Announcing the probe, speaker of the House of Commons
John Bercow said it would look into the security failure that
allowed a man to rush forward from the public gallery and
attack the News Corp chairman Murdoch yesterday.
A spokesman for the Speaker said: "The Speaker is very
concerned at what has occurred and has asked for the incident
to be thoroughly investigated. It is wholly unacceptable that
a member of the public should treat a witness in this way."
Jonathan May-Bowles, 26, who describes himself as an
activist and comedian was charged with a public order offence.
Following the attack, MPs suspended their questioning of
Rupert Murdoch and his son John for 15 minutes.
The session had been going for two hours when the
protester reportedly shouted "you naughty billionaire" as he
approached 80-year-old Murdoch - who was being questioned in a
room in Portcullis House, a building adjacent to the Houses of
Parliament where many MPs have their offices.
Murdoch`s wife, Wendi, seated behind him during the
session, defended her husband and appeared to slap the
assailant on his head.
The shaving foam hit Murdoch`s suit jacket and he later
resumed the session in his shirt and tie.
Tory MP John Whittingdale - who chairs the Commons media
committee and was overseeing proceedings, apologised to
Murdoch, saying the incident had been "wholly unacceptable".
"I shall certainly be making a report to the Speaker and
I hope there will be an investigation as to how the people
responsible were able to get into the room and carry it out,"