Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 15

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Keith Vaz MP

  Thank you for your letter of 22 February 2000 which, because of the recess I received this morning, and to which I am dictating a reply from abroad.

  I have nothing to add to my letters of 7 and 11 February 2000, which set out the facts clearly.

  May I make one comment concerning the way in which Mr Brown has made his complaint. Mr Brown says he "thinks" a payment was made, for what he "seems to recall". He further goes on to rely on a statement of an unidentified "third party" and says this "may or may not be the case".

  As I said at the beginning of this Inquiry the allegations made are a malicious falsehood.

  Could you advise me what protection is there for Members of Parliament who have to face completely untrue allegations and who then subsequently have to defend their reputation in the media? Is there a Parliamentary Sanction to deal with this or do you have any powers to deal with it?

  I would be grateful if you would let me know when you consider this matter can be brought to an end.

29 February 2000

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