Reply to the Chairman of the Committee
on Standards and Privileges from the Rt Hon Ann Taylor MP|
Thank you for your letter of 17 June about your Committee's
discussion about the original seven Nolan principles.
I have had a discussion with Tony Newton and he agrees
the terms of this letter. The specific issue to which you referthe
omitted wordswas not explicitly discussed by our Committee
since an assumption was made, correctly in my view, that the Nolan
Committee was outlining its principles of public life in general.
Indeed, the sentence in the first report after the one you quote
reads: "The [Nolan] Committee has set them out here for the
benefit of all who serve the public in any way.".
That first Nolan report dealt with the conduct of
Ministers, agencies and quangos as well as that of Members of
Parliament. The Select Committee on Standards in Public Life,
on the other hand, dealt only with the conduct of Members as Members.
It was our view then, and remains my view, that the
conduct of Members in their capacities other than that of a Member,
should properly be dealt with by outside agencies such as the
police, the courts and regulatory authorities. Of course, there
may be occasions when the House would want to come to a view about
the outside conduct of a Member, but only after bodies such as
those mentioned above have exhausted their procedures.
I hope that this has clarified the matter.
29 June 1999