Letter from Mr Ian Greer to the Parliamentary
Commissioner for Standards
You will recall that I wrote to you in October
last year, pointing out that in preparation for the libel trial,
The Guardian's solicitors had, on examination of IGA's
financial records, discovered that six or seven referral payments
for the introduction of new business, had been made to Sir Michael
Grylls, over a period of several years.
This information conflicted with the evidence
I gave to the Select Committee on Members' Interests in 1990,
when I stated that three referral payments had been made by my
company to Sir Michael. I had relied on the information provided
by my bookkeeper, which subsequently proved to be wrong.
It was not my intention to be anything other
than frank with the Committee.
Having informed the Committee that I had made
referral payments to Members of Parliament, and having been told
that there was nothing wrong in so doing, there would have been
no advantage to me in understating the number of referral payments
made. I feel, however, that I should take full responsibility
and offer an unreserved apology to the Committee for my carelessness.
In my letter to you of 14 October, I also made
reference to the fact that Sir Michael had been paid a regular
fee by the Unitary Tax Campaign (UTC) for the work that he had
undertaken in their interests. The campaign was a very demanding
one and Sir Michael spent an increasing amount of time on it.
However, the Campaign Committee did not have the funds to pay
Sir Michael a fee reflecting the work involved. I therefore agreed
to pay him a "top-up" fee specifically and solely for
the UTC activities.
He was at no time a director of, or a consultant
to IGA and therefore I believed that his declaration of "UTC"
in the Members' Register of Interests was appropriate, albeit
it was obviously his decision.
May I again offer my apologies to the Committee
for not explaining the UTC relationship between Sir Michael and
IGA. On reflection, it was an error on my part and one that I
11 February 1997