Reply to the Chairman of the Committee
on Standards and Privileges from the Rt Hon Peter Mandelson MP
Thank you for your letter of April 28. I am happy
to reply to your questions as follows:
1. I did not complete the application form.
It was completed in my presence by the Britannia branch manager.
I believe he knew I was a MP with a home in my constituency but
he did not ask me about a mortgage on my home in Hartlepool and
I was not aware of the need to refer to it (having maintained
it since 1990 with my other mortgage in London).
2. As I have said, I was not asked a pertinent
question about it and, as the building society have acknowledged
subsequently, the application form was not designed with such
circumstances of a MP's second mortgage in mind.
3. Only after the matter became public and
it was drawn to my attention. It ceased to be relevant, of course,
because I paid it off when I sold my flat in Wilmington Square.
5. I cannot identify the precise date. I
have indicated the sequence of events in my original letter to
8. I cannot recall the precise date on which
he first offered to help.
10. On 14 or 15 October through discussion between
Mr Robinson and my solicitor.
11. No, I did not imagine it was a material change
that affected the Britannia's offer or its financial interests
and, judging by their actions since, the building society appear
to agree with me.
14. December 1998.
4 May 1999