Anna Fifield

Anna Fifield is the FT’s US political correspondent and has been covering the Washington end of the BP oil spill since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20. She blogged live from the hearing room.

5:28pm: Mr Hayward and the other BP executives were escorted under heavy police and security guard out to black SUVs that were waiting at the nearest exit. One photographer who apparently got too close to Mr Hayward was seen being pushed away from the executives by a Capitol police officer.

And with that, this blog comes to a close.

5:26pm: Mr Stupak is bringing the hearing to a close. “We could go here all night and I’m sure people would like to,” he said, but said that instead lawmakers would have 10 days to ask additional questions.

“I agree we’re the most important committee in Congress but even this committee must come to an end,” he said.

Mr Stupak, however, told Mr Hayward that lawmakers had been frustrated with all his “I don’t know” answers and said he should be better prepared to answer their questions during the next session.

Anna Fifield

Anna Fifield is the FT’s US political correspondent and has been covering the Washington end of the BP oil spill since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20. She blogged live from the hearing room.

12:52pm: The hearing was adjourned for another recess as lawmakers return to the House chamber to vote. it will resume at 2pm Washington time.

12:38pm: The hearing soon descended into angry arguing.

“When you became CEO three years ago, you said safety would be your top priority, that you would focus on it like a laser,” Mr Waxman told Mr Hayward. “Have you met that commitment that you made?”

Mr Hayward responded that BP had “made a lot of progress… major changes,” since he became chief executive and said he was “distraught” by the Gulf spill.

Anna Fifield

Anna Fifield is the FT’s US political correspondent and has been covering the Washington end of the BP oil spill since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20. This was her first post from the hearing room.

11:15am: The press is getting restless.  It’s been 75 minutes and we’ve yet to hear a word from Mr Hayward’s mouth. Instead, we’ve got lawmaker after lawmaker repeating the same complaints about BP’s safety standards. One of the protesters in BP overalls has nodded off in the back row.

10:53am: It looks like I was wrong about there being less grandstanding at this subcommittee hearing. The BP is an emotive issue and one where few lawmakers can resist the temptation to hit out at BP or, in a few cases, defend oil companies and attack the Obama administration. An hour into the hearing, we’ve yet to get to Tony Hayward.

10:48am: Bruce Braley, a Republican from Iowa, played videos from two women whose husbands were killed on the Deepwater Horizon rig, saying BP needed to fully understand the impact they had had on families in the Gulf region. They urged lawmakers to let “these powerful oil companies know they will be held accountable for this actions” and asked them to impose harsh punishments on oil companies who breach safety regulations.

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