David Davis cleared of parliamentary contempt over Brexit reports

He admitted his department had not carried out formal impact assessments

David Davis cleared of parliamentary contempt over Brexit reports

File photo of UK Brexit Secretary David Davis | Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

David Davis has escaped being found in contempt of the British parliament over the release of information on the economic impact of Brexit.

But the British Brexit secretary and other ministers were chastised for not being clearer when asked about impact assessment papers for months before.

Mr Davis was cleared by the House of Commons speaker John Bercow in a statement on Thursday.

Mr Bercow raised concerns over Mr Davis' approach but said the allegations of contempt would not be pursued.

Mr Davis released an 850-page dossier of information outlining the economic impact of Brexit on 58 sectors of the economy after a binding vote in the House of Commons last month.

But he came under criticism because he admitted that his department had not carried out formal impact assessments only after being ordered to publish them.

The admission also raised questions over the quality of the information included in the dossier.

Mr Bercow said: "Ministers could, with advantage, have been considerably clearer in their statements, particularly challenging lines of questioning in select committees which were based upon a genuine misconception.

"However, from the evidence which I have seen today date I have concluded that the test that I am bound to apply, that there is an arguable case that there has in this matter been a contempt of the house, has not been met in this case."

If found in contempt, it could have been career-ending moment for the minister charged with managing Britain's divorce from the EU.

MPs found in contempt of parliament can be suspended from the House by the speaker.