Select Committee on Standards and Privileges First Report


Other Payments and Benefits received by Members from Mr Al Fayed

  808. Mr Al Fayed has claimed that, in addition to cash payments, Mr Hamilton received Harrods gift vouchers totalling £8,000. He was uncertain about the denominations of the vouchers and acknowledged that no records existed by which they could be traced. Ms Bond recalled having heard from Mr Al Fayed that Mr Hamilton sometimes liked vouchers but there is otherwise no corroborative evidence. Mr Hamilton denies receiving vouchers and there is, in my view, insufficient evidence to show that he did.

  809. Mr and Mrs Hamilton's stay at the Ritz in 1987 is a matter of public record and was the subject of an inquiry by the Select Committee on Members' Interests in 1995. The Committee rejected Mr Hamilton's claim that this hospitality was not registrable, but recommended no further action.

  810. Mr Hamilton denies that this stay was part of his reward for lobbying; or that it was an abuse of Mr Al Fayed's hospitality. Against this, it is clear that Mr Hamilton was, at the time, engaging in considerable activity on Mr Al Fayed's behalf and that Mr Greer clearly felt that Mr Hamilton's conduct in regaling colleagues with accounts of the scale of the hospitality he had enjoyed had been self-indulgent (and potentially embarrassing to Mr Greer). My conclusion is that, whoever first made the suggestion that Mr Hamilton should stay at the Ritz, this hospitality was part of his reward for lobbying services.

  811. As regards the alleged second stay in Paris at Mr Al Fayed's expense in 1990, I am unable to reach a judgement because of the conflict of evidence which has arisen as to whether the visit in fact took place (although there is no doubt that Mr Hamilton originally canvassed this possibility with Mr Al Fayed).

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Prepared 8 July 1997