Letter from the Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke
QC, MP to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
Thank you very much for your recent letter
regarding the enquiry you are carrying out into allegations against
Mr Neil Hamilton and other Members. I am afraid that I did not
see the recent television programme on Channel4 and I have
not kept any notes which might enable me to refresh my memory
about the lobbying against the proposed prohibition on the sale
of Skoal Bandits.
I certainly remember being lobbied vigorously
by Neil Hamilton, who was very indignant about the prohibition.
I think that Michael Brown and others were also involved, but
I cannot remember his part so clearly. I do not think that I
was ever aware that any of the Members of Parliament who lobbied
me had financial connections with the companies involved. I am
afraid, however, that my memory of events is not particularly
clear, except that I remember the vigour with which Mr Hamilton
pursued his campaign. I do not think that my recollection of
events is so clear that I wish to make any complaint myself, or
press this as any evidence against the MPs concerned. They were
certainly very ferocious in their private protests!
19 February 1997