Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Ninth Report


Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from the Rt Hon Peter Mandelson MP


In October 1996 Geoffrey Robinson MP lent me £373,000 to assist me in the purchase of a property in London.

The material terms of the loan were as follows:

Repayment would be at a time to be agreed between the parties together with interest calculated by reference to the base rate of Midland Bank plc (or any successor bank) as varied from time to time.

Mr Robinson would be at liberty to register a charge over the property either on giving me 90 days notice, or on my death.

In the event of the death of Mr Robinson I would take such steps as were reasonably required by his estate to secure the estate's interest for the repayment of the loan.

Notwithstanding the other terms part of the loan would be repaid upon sale of the flat I then owned in London.

If the loan and interest had not already been re-paid, it was to be repaid upon sale of the property, unless some substitute agreement was reached.

Other than a first mortgage to the Britannia Building Society I agreed not to reduce the equity of the property by securing other loans upon the property.

The interest in the agreement was initially described as simple, but it was agreed at the time it should be compound.

I have repaid £40,624.68 of the loan to Mr Robinson upon the sale of my flat, leaving principal outstanding of £332,375.32.

From the time I became aware as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry that the department was considering Mr Robinson's affairs, I have agreed with officials that I shall have no role in any such consideration, and have not done so.

I have as a matter of courtesy replied to correspondence from fellow MPs about the matter. I enclose the relevant correspondence.[13]

I do not believe that the loan described above requires to be registered in the Register of members' interests as it was not a gift or gained through my being an MP. However, given the substantial media interest in the circumstances of the loan, I think it appropriate that I should refer the matter to you for consideration of whether I should, at any time in the past, or now have registered the loan to me in the register.

I will of course abide by any decision you make on the matter.

I would be happy to provide you with any further information you require.

22 December 1998

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