Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Ninth Report


Extracts from letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Robert Henderson


"Complaint 1 Peter Mandelson

2.  Mr Mandelson obtained a mortgage in excess of 100,000 pounds from the Britannia Building Society. It appears from newspaper and broadcast reports that Mr Mandelson falsely completed the mortgage application form by declaring that he intended to purchase the property without placing any other debt charges on the property. In fact, he had arranged a loan of 373,000 pounds from a friend, a Mr Geoffrey Robinson. There is a further possible falsehood on the mortgage application form. Mr Mandelson may have had another mortgage on a Clerkenwell flat at the time of the Britannia mortgage application. In the light of his failure to declare the Robinson loan, it is reasonable to suspect which he may also have failed to declare the mortgage."

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"7.  Mr Mandelson's claim that the Robinson loan was a purely private transaction is invalidated by the fact that a formal legal agreement was drawn up which not only stipulated a rate of interest, but gave Geoffrey Robinson the right to put a charge on the property at ninety days notice if repayments were not made. Thus the loan was by definition a business arrangement."

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"10.  Following from the fact of the material advantages Mr Mandelson has received from Mr Robinson, I further request that you investigate whether he has acted in a partial way to benefit Mr Robinson, either in his promotion to ministerial rank or in the DTI's investigation of Mr Robinson's business dealings.

11.  In addition, I ask that you consider the validity of Mr Mandelson's failure to (1) declare the loan on the Member's Register of Interests and (2) the freebie flight Mr Mandelson accepted from the businesswoman Linda Wachner, who is involved in the marketing of products available in this country such as Calvin Klein jeans and as such could conceivably have received some beneficial treatment from Mr Mandelson as the minister in charge of the DTI."

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"20.  Finally, I ask you to look at the general question of the propriety of MPs accepting large material favours from one another."

29 December 1998


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