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Public broadcast of Bank of England grilling derailed by technical issues

The Treasury Committee was holding its first session outside Westminster.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney was giving evidence to the Treasury Committee on Tuesday (PA)
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney was giving evidence to the Treasury Committee on Tuesday (PA)

A parliamentary grilling of Bank of England and City watchdog bosses was fraught by technical difficulties after MPs tried to hold a key hearing at the Farnborough Air Show.

The Treasury Committee decided to take evidence on the Bank of England’s Financial Stability Report while on a day out of London, but live streaming of the event got off to a rocky start.

While the event is usually held in Westminster, allowing for a full live video feed for public viewing via Parliament TV, the hearing on Tuesday was instead put through YouTube where more than 300 spectators were plugged in.

Chairman and MP Nicky Morgan and other Committee members had been invited to Farnborough by the airshow’s organisers to meet a group of small businesses later in the day to discuss issues including the impact of Brexit.

It is the first time the Treasury Committee has attempted to hold a hearing outside Westminster.

Witnesses included Bank of England governor Mark Carney, the Bank’s deputy governor for financial stability Sir Jon Cunliffe, Financial Policy Committee external member Elisabeth Stheeman, and Financial Conduct Authority chief executive Andrew Bailey.

A screenshot of the offline live feed of the Treasury Committee hearing on Tuesday (PA)

A moderator on the YouTube live stream quickly notified participants that the stream would be audio only, but once the live stream started, the transmission began cutting out at regular intervals.

It left listeners unable to catch most of the opening discussions over the regulatory response to IT glitches across the banking and payments system.

In a chat box running alongside the live stream, user Tim Langfeld said: “WHY IS SOMEONE NOT FIXING THIS PROBLEM?!”

Within half an hour, the feed was offline and was shut down shortly after.

A spokeswoman for the Treasury Committee said that a full recording of the hearing would be available online soon after the hearing wrapped up, with a link set to be shared on the Committee’s parliamentary landing page.

It was estimated that a full recording would be available anytime from 11am.

Press Association

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