Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 56

Letter to Mr Geoffrey Bindman, Bindman & Partners, Solicitors, from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

  Thank you for your letter of 7 December 2000 from which I understand that Mr Vaz takes the view that there are no questions of relevance to my enquiry which he has not fully answered.

  In the light of this I shall proceed to draw up my draft memorandum and I will, as I have said previously, send it to Mr Vaz to give him the opportunity to suggest corrections of fact and, if he wishes, provide further comment. I am still waiting for replies to some letters to witnesses and if necessary will put them to Mr Vaz when they reach me.

  I note from your letter that Mr Vaz is happy to answer any further questions which the Committee wishes him to answer. It would be helpful if Mr Vaz could take the opportunity to provide me with any further details, which, having read my memorandum, he thinks would enable me to provide a full and accurate account to the Standards and Privileges Committee.

  My aim is to send Mr Vaz the draft memorandum before the Christmas recess and to offer him two weeks in which to reply. May I once again assure Mr Vaz that I shall consider, most carefully, any corrections, additions or further comment he decides to make at that point.

  Once I have received Mr Vaz's reply I shall correct and complete my memorandum and come to my conclusions. I anticipate providing my memorandum to the Standards and Privileges Committee early in the New Year.

  Finally, may I underline my continuing invitation to Mr Vaz to see me or speak to me on the telephone in order to provide me with additional information or discuss any of these matters.

  Perhaps you would let my office know where we should address the memorandum, or whether Mr Vaz would prefer his staff to collect it.

11 December 2000

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