Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 4

File note by the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards


I spoke to Councillor Piara Singh Clair on the telephone on Friday 15th December, to ask him for a reply to the Commissioner's letter. Mr Singh Clair confirmed that he had got the letter. He said that he would not give an answer over the phone to the questions in the letter, because he had his notes at home. Instead he said that he would post a reply and fax a letter to the Commissioner for Monday morning, so that it would be in time for the Committee meeting on Tuesday. I asked him if I could phone him on Monday, at the Council's offices, if I had not received the letter by then and he said yes.

On Monday, December 18th, I rang the Council's offices in the afternoon and spoke to Alex Miles — — — , who said that she would try and track down Councillor Clair. She rang back and said that he had left for the day.

I next got a message from Alex to say that Councillor Clair said that he had sent a hand written letter and had sent it in the post. I asked if he could send a fax of the letter and apologised for the inconvenience in advance. The next message from him was there was no copy of it, I discussed the possibility with Alex of typing another copy, which she said that she could always do.

On Wednesday, December 20th, I rang again, when the letter had still not arrived in the post and spoke to Alex. She phoned back three times to tell me of the efforts she had made in trying to contact Mr Singh these included leaving a pager, phoning a mobile and contacting the shop floor where he worked. In our final conversation she took the fax number for the office and said that she'd spoken to Councillor Clair. He was working on long shift until seven thirty. Then he said the he would write out another letter and fax and post it again.

On Thursday December 21st, I rang Alex again, I checked that I had given the correct fax number and she confirmed that this was in the email that she had sent Councillor Singh Clair. He had told her that he had sent the letter in the post last night and faxed the letter. But it had not come through our machine. I also checked the facts, of what had happened so far, for the file note I was writing.

Alex also gave me the most current address for Councillor Singh Clair which was: — — —.

21 December 2000

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