Letter to Mr Gerald Shamash, Steel &
Shamash, Solicitors, from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
Thank you for your letter of 14 November 2000.
When Mr Thomas and I discussed this matter on
the telephone on 20 September 2000, it was Mr Thomas who referred
to the period from 1992 during which he has been Secretary of
My questions to him are couched in general terms
as I am trying to ensure that my report to The Standards and Privileges
Committee is accurate.
I am also looking for copies of records so that
I can be precise about the dates in question since I am aware
that witnesses may not be sure about dates when recalling events.
I therefore wrote to Mr Thomas as the responsible officer asking
him for his recollections and for any copies of written records.
To answer your question witnesses have given me dates from 1988
The information I am trying to establish concerns
1. Whether Mr Thomas is aware of any appeal
for funding by anyone which requested serving councillors to give
a percentage of their allowances, whether on a regular basis or
not, for any purpose?
2. If such appeals were made, to whom were
they made, on what dates and for what purpose?
3. If funds were raised the accounts into
which they were deposited and on what they were spent?
I would be grateful for any documentary information
which supports Mr Thomas's replies, eg the minutes, bank statements,
4. To enable me to be sure that I have a
complete picture I would also be grateful to be provided with
information by Mr Thomas on the following funds which have been
referred to by witnesses. I appreciate that different people may
refer to funds by different names and it is therefore necessary
for me to clarify this with the secretary. The following are descriptions
which have been used to me: the Premises Fund, the 50/100/200
Club, The Lottery and Support for The MP's Office.
May I thank Mr Thomas for his assistance with
this enquiry and I look forward to an early reply.
15 November 2000