Tanya Byron’s ‘difficult’ meeting with Keith Vaz

Dr Tanya Byron has spoken of her ‘difficult’ meeting with notoriously anti-violent games MP Keith Vaz.

The private meeting, which took place as Dr. Byron gathered evidence for her Review, was also attended by Giselle Pakeerah – the mother of murdered Leicester schoolboy Stefan and a constituent of Mr. Vaz.

Vaz continues to connect Stefan Pakeerah’s tragic murder with the influence of Rockstar video game Manhunt – despite detectives that investigated the 2004 case categorically rejecting the link.

When asked by ELSPA director general Paul Jackson about Keith Vaz’s appraisal of the Byron Review – which the MP said shows a clear link between games and violence – Byron said:

“It was a difficult meeting that had to be handled sensitively and carefully. It was, after all, the mother of a child who had been murdered.

"I felt it was an important meeting, as I know Mr. Vaz has many criticisms of the games industry - and these are often reported widely and can be quite damaging for the industry. I talked to him about my positive experience of the industry – and my experience of ELSPA members in this room.

"I think different people will pick up different elements of the report and that’s fine – I’ve been surprised that it’s met so many needs for so many people. But my biggest fear is that it will be used for currency – whether that’s political or currency within the industry. I don’t want that to happen...

"... it’s not as simple as violent games making people violent. I’ve never said that, and would be sure to disagree with anyone who inferred that from the Review."

Click here to read the full exchange between Dr. Tanya Byron and ELSPA's Paul Jackson.

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Tags: keith vaz , tanya byron , manhunt , giselle pakeerah , stefan pakeerah

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