Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner
for Standards from Finers Stephens Innocent, Solicitors
We write further to your letter to our client
of today, copied to us.
We write to express our and our client's dismay
at your continued correspondence with our client despite our and
our client's requested requests for you to deal with us direct.
As you must well know, you do not need to "cc" your
letters to us, to our client. As we are acting for him, they will
of course be sent to him by us in accordance with normal practice.
We understand from our client that you even telephoned him this
morning. So that there is no confusion, we enclose a note of that
You are well aware that we are dealing with
this matter on instructions from our client. It is therefore astounding
that you are continuing to contact him, especially when in the
past led to what may most neutrally be described as "misunderstandings".
Despite your assertion to the contrary, we find
it hard to believe that your intention is not simultaneously to
drive a wedge between us and our client and increase his feelings
of vulnerability and unease at your approach. In your telephone
conversation, it appears that you have once again threatened him
with a report to the Committee if he does not met with you before
a specific date Friday 30 June and that his failure to do so would
"be made public". Such bullying tactics are quite inappropriate
when conducting an enquiry for Parliament when we are well aware
that at least one important matter remains outstanding.
On another matter, in a voicemail message left
for Mr Stephens today, you say that you do not understand our
letter of 26 June. This is not credible.
You also say that you are happy to "talk
about" Sir Peter Soulsby "and who it was that suggested
[you] contact him". You will be aware from our numerous requests
(9, 16 and 21 June) that this is not the information that we seek.
Rather, we have asked you to confirm whether you have personal
knowledge of Sir Peter Soulsby or any other person involved in
this enquiry. You have continually refused to address this question.
In the circumstances, we have had to conduct investigations of
our own, and have now been informed of the true position, that
indeed you are aware of him, at least by having sat on the National
Audit Commission with him. Perhaps you would be good enough to
let us know why you refused to impart this information when it
is originally requested.
Finally, in your conversation with our client
this morning, you said that if he were reported by you to the
Committee for his failure to co-operatewhich we have explained
many times is not the casethen, in addition to the letter
from Sir Peter Soulsby, you would use "as evidence":
1. transcripts and tapes from the Sunday
Times article on 14 May; and
2. other evidence, which is in conflict with
the letters received from our clients. Any such evidence is clearly
properly discloseable to our client, if he is to comment upon
it, and if your enquiry is to be fairly conducted. It has not
been disclosed and we therefore wish that it be immediately disclosed
27 June 2000