Examination of Witness (Questions 460
TUESDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2001
460. Can I ask the witness roughly the same
question a different way round which he might be able to answer
more easily. When he was speaking to you about the request for
campaign payments, which we have established are not linked to
giving planning permission, did you sense that he was under any
pressure to say anything that was not what he had experienced?
(Sir Peter Soulsby) No. As I say, I worked very closely
with him over the years, particularly at the time when the mosque
was being attacked by arsonists. I think he is quite well disposed
towards me as a result of that, and whenever I have been to their
events he has always treated me as a friend, and I think he was
talking as a friend.
461. There was nothing he could have gained
by saying this to you?
(Sir Peter Soulsby) Nothing at all.
462. So far as you are aware, when he was speaking
to journalists, there was no particular pressure on him to say
(Sir Peter Soulsby) Only the sort of pressure we all
come under when journalists try to get us to answer questions.
463. Did you mention Hamilton to the town clerk?
This is a bit uncertain. I wanted confirmation from you.
(Sir Peter Soulsby) I think I did. I will just look
and see what the letter said, if you will bear with me. Yes. Although
I did not actually mention Hamilton, the town clerk would immediately
know that that was the issue I was talking about, because I referred
to three religious groups seeking to purchase land at a discount
price from the council. That had been such an issue, and indeed,
a bi-election had been fought about it, that the town clerk would
immediately know I was talking about Hamilton.
464. There would have been no question about
(Sir Peter Soulsby) Not at all, no.