Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Ninth Report

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.

4.    1990.

5.    I cannot identify the precise date. I have indicated the sequence of events in my original letter to Ms Filkin.

6.    After.

7.    Before.

8.    I cannot recall the precise date on which he first offered to help.

9.    Before.

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.

12.  No.

13.  No.

14.  December 1998.

4 May 1999


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