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Blair enters Manhunt controversy

Prime Minister ponders enquiry but defends industry

The Prime Minister Tony Blair has entered the Manhunt controversy today, by telling MPs in parliament that Rockstar's Manhunt was a game which was "wholly unsuitable for children".

However after receiving a morning briefing from ELSPA, the Prime Minister also appeared to defend the games industry, saying it had the best games regulation system in Europe and that adults had a right to buy games which featured adult themes and content.

The questions relate to the murder of Stefan Pakeerah, who was murdered in February by Warren Leblanc, who stabbed the 14-year-old after luring him to a Leicester park to rob him on 27 February.

Despite sensational headlines from less well-informed members of the British press and calls for a ban on the game by the victim's family, police investigating the case said that Manhunt was not a factor in the death of Stefan Pakeerah and formed no part of their prosecution case. Initial reports that Leblanc actually owned a copy of Manhunt, were eventually found to be untrue.

Mr Blair was replying to Leicester East MP Keith Vaz, who asked the Prime Minister to investigate any correlation between Manhunt-style games and violence. Mr Blair said that he would be consulting with the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, to discuss what further action could be taken.

Members of Parliament and representatives from ELSPA are also meeting this afternoon to discuss the issue further and we'll bring you comments and reactions from that meeting tomorrow, once representatives become available.

Despite the tragic death of Stefan Pakeerah and his family's belief that Manhunt was an influence in his murder, no concrete evidence has ever been presented to prove a link between the two.

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