Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner
for Standards from the Rt Hon Peter Mandelson MP
Thank you for your letter concerning complaints you
have received about me.
Geoffrey Robinson's loan to me was not made through
virtue of my membership of the House of Commons. He is a friend
of seventeen years standing and the help he gave me did not relate
to my duties as a Member of the House. Notwithstanding, I have
taken your advice and registered the loan, and I fully accept
your reasoning in suggesting this. Incidentally, should any question
be pressed regarding my building society mortgage, you will be
aware that the Britannia have made clear that they are satisfied
with the information I submitted to them. As this is a personal
financial matter, I do not believe it should concern the House.
As regards the flight accepted from Ms Linda Wachner,
I have beenand will remainscrupulous about disclosing
financial or material benefits received by me in my capacity as
a Member of the House. As I discussed with Mr Willoughby, it is
important to make a clear distinction between such registrable
benefits and the hospitality and kindnesses received from friends
which have no bearing on my parliamentary role and duties. Ms
Wachner is a good and close friend with whom I have been on holiday
on a number of occasions since 1994. The use of her plane is a
personal matterand nothing to do with her American-based
companyand I have travelled on it on two or three occasions
including last summer. I can, if you wish, find out details of
any UK business interests she has but I have never discussed these
with her and I do not think my membership of the House will have
any bearing on them.
I hope you will accept from me that I have not wittingly
transgressed in any way but if you want to pursue the issues further,
I am happy to answer any further questions.
23 February 1999