Michael Howard - Member of Parliament - Home Secretary - Interview On Newsnight

Interview On Newsnight

His reputation was dented on 13 May 1997 when a critical inquiry into a series of prison escapes was published. In advance of the publication Howard made statements to assign blame to the prison service. A further controversy came when the television interviewer, Jeremy Paxman, relentlessly asked him the same question 12 times in all, (14 if including two earlier inquiries that were worded somewhat differently) during an edition of the Newsnight programme. Asking whether Howard had intervened when Derek Lewis sacked a prison governor, Paxman asked: "Did you threaten to overrule him?" Howard did not give a direct answer, instead repeatedly saying that he "did not instruct him", and ignoring the "threaten" part of the question.

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