Statement of Mr Neil Hamilton MP
FORMAL RESPONSE TO ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT
You have asked me to set out which allegations
made against me by Mohamed Fayed and The Guardian are
accepted and which are disputed. My responses are set out below,
using the same paragraph numbers: 1. I tabled two Parliamentary
Questions prompted by Ian Greer on 7 November 1985. I neither
received nor contemplated receiving any benefits in cash or in
kind in exchange for tabling these Parliamentary Questions.
2. Save that I attended meetings with other
Members of Parliament, including those named in paragraph 2,
whose political views coincided, to a greater or lesser extent,
with mine, I was not "a member of a group". In particular
the inference that I surrendered my independent judgment as a
Member of Parliament, and that I was either controlled or directed
by others, is denied.
Save that I tabled Parliamentary Questions and
early day motions, details of which are set out in paragraph 3
below, in the normal course of my duties as a Member of Parliament,
the suggestion that I comprised, or was party to, a Parliamentary
lobbying operation in a manner that by inference was alleged to
be improper is denied. I neither expected, nor was led to expect,
nor received any benefit in cash or in kind from any person on
behalf of or connected with Mr Mohamed Al-Fayed or The House
3. On various dates in 1987, 1988 and 1989 I
tabled eight Parliamentary Questions for written answer concerning
matters which were relevant to the dispute between Lonrho Plc,
The House of Fraser and Mr Mohamed Al-Fayed.
4. On various dates in 1987, 1988 and 1989 I
tabled three early day motions in my own name and signed a further
five early day motions tabled by others concerning matters which
were relevant to the dispute between Lonrho Plc, The House of
Fraser and the Fayeds.
5. It appears, from the documents in my possession,
that the sum of £18,000 was paid by Mr Mohamed Al-Fayed
to Ian Greer submitted in the form of two cheques during may 1987.
I was not aware of the payment until commencement of the libel
action. There is clear documentary evidence that the monies paid
by Fayed, together with an additional sum of £11,250 paid
by DHL, was used to contribute to the election expenses incurred
by a number of Members of Parliament. I was not amongst that number.
The allegation that any part of that sum was paid to me for any
purpose is denied.
I also deny that any monies were paid to
me, or any person connected with me, by Ian Greer or Ian Greer
Associates save for the payments referred to in paragraph 8 below.
6. The allegations contained in paragraph 6
of your letter are denied in their entirety. I did not at any
time receive any cash payments directly or indirectly from or
on behalf of Mr Al-Fayed or The House of Fraser at any time,
nor did I receive any Harrods vouchers on the dates mentioned
or at any other time.
7. I did not receive any sums in cash, specified
or unspecified, from the reception desk, at 60 Park Lane or from
any other offices of Mr Al-Fayed or The House of Fraser. In particular,
I did not collect any sum in cash from the reception desk of
60 Park Lane prior to my departure for Paris in September 1987.
8. I received the payments referred to in paragraph
8 of your letter at the time and in the manner specified.
The payments were made on account of the introduction
by me to Ian Greer Associates of two new clients, namely United
States Tobacco Company and National Nuclear Corporation.
9. The benefits I received arising out of or
connected with my relationship with US Tobacco Inc were as follows:
(i) Two, or possibly three nights accommodation
at a condominium in Essex House in New York; the condominium
comprised premises permanently retained for the use of employees
and guests of US Tobacco Company.
(ii) One night at St James' Court Hotel
(iii) I did not table an early day motion
on 13 October 1989. The House was in recess. I tabled an early
day motion on 20 December 1989. I did not propose an amendment
to the Tobacco Product Duty Bill in June 1989. To the best of
my knowledge there was no such Bill.
At that time, US Tobacco Inc manufactured Skoal
Bandits in Scotland. To the best of my knowledge, it did not
market any tobacco products in the United Kingdom.
10. In 1987, 1988 and 1989 in my capacity as
a Member of Parliament I attended meetings with Ministers at
which issues relating to the dispute between Mr Mohamed Al-Fayed,
The House of Fraser and Lonrho were discussed. I was not paid
by Mr Ian Greer, Ian Greer Associates, Mr Mohamed Al-Fayed or
The House of Fraser for attending these meetings or for any other
purpose connected with this dispute. I attended the meetings
and expressed views in accordance with the duties and obligations
conferred upon me as a Member of Parliament.
11. It is admitted that I stayed as a guest
of Mr Mohamed Al-Fayed at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. I deny that
the invitation was offered or accepted in exchange for services
provided, or expected to be provided, for the benefit of Mr Al-Fayed
or The House of Fraser.
12. In 1989 Mrs Hamilton and I, together with
Sir Peter and Lady Hordern, stayed for two nights in a flat on
Mr Mohamed Al-Fayed's estate in Scotland. It is denied that the
invitation was offered or accepted in exchange for services provided,
or expected to be provided, for the benefit of Mr Al-Fayed or
The House of Fraser.
13. On various occasions I received unsolicited
gifts from Harrods. These gifts consisted of two Christmas hampers,
two or three Harrods ties, a bottle of Harrods whisky and a few
other token gifts. I am not aware of the value of the gifts,
save that they were insignificant and reciprocated in kind by
gifts purchased at the shop in The House of Commons.
14. The payments referred to in paragraph 8
and the accommodation referred to in paragraphs 9, 11 and 12,
were not registered by making entries in the register of Members'
Interests. Under the rules relating to registration in force
at the time I deny that there was any obligation to register such
payments or the benefit of such accommodation. I further and
specifically deny any deliberate or dishonest intent in omitting
to declare or register any interest. If I was mistaken in my
interpretation of the rules relating to registration (as has already
been explained to the select committee in the context of the
information contained in paragraph 11 above) the mistake was
made in good faith.
Attached to this statement is a schedule amplifying
each one of these responses, drawing your attention to the evidence
available in connection with each allegation, and in certain cases
referring to identified documents.
Neil Hamilton MP
10 February 1997