Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fourth Report

Annex A

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Kathy Lewis

I am writing to make an official complaint about the entry in the Register of Members' Interests for the leader of the opposition, the Rt Hon William Hague.

Since January 1999, Mr Hague's entry in the House of Commons Register of Members' Interests has stated that "any fees received as a result of speaking engagements will be paid into The William Hague Charitable Trust. Donations form this Trust will be distributed by an independent board of trustees to charitable organisations within my constituency." This entry appears currently on the House of Commons website.

My complaint is that The William Hague Charitable Trust does not exist and never has existed, and that Mr Hague's entry is therefore both inaccurate and misleading. I believe that both Mr Hague's private office and the Charities Commission will readily confirm this point. If you would like any further information on this matter I would suggest that you approach Jack Cheshire or Mark Thomas at Vera Productions Ltd on — — —. I understand that they have further evidence regarding this matter and I am sure they would be delighted to assist your investigations in any way they can.

Mr Hague's entry implies that any fee-paying public speaking financially benefits charitable causes. If fees have not been paid into the William Hague Charitable Trust then where have they gone? I would hope that you would immediately launch an investigation into this serious matter, on my behalf. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

8 February 2001

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