Further letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner
for Standards from Mr D R Drew
Many thanks for your letter of 1 November.
My original approach was of a general nature but
I see that you head your letter with Mr Frank Roy's name. There
have been allegations in the press about him, of course, but I
contend that his own admissions on Radio 4 constitute sufficient
evidence of his involvement in the current matter, and on that
basis I am prompted to nominate him for you to investigate further.
As I understood his Radio 4 contribution, Mr Roy
not only admitted having placed a bet, he strongly defended his
action as being of a very ordinary nature. Moreover, he actually
endeavoured to claim some astonishment that anyone should think
badly of the practice.
I suggest that such activity is so patently inappropriate,
unethical and beneath the perceived dignity of the House that
it is impossible to see how any Member can contend otherwise;
except by a strained pretence. Such actions unnecessarily reinforce
the unfortunate impression which we outside gain of Members' attitudes
of self-interest deriving from a favoured position.
I suggest that the issue is whether Members ought
to bet at all on Parliamentary matters; and not just whether any
winnings ought to be declared.
I trust this is helpful.
I have written to the Chairman of the Standards and
Privileges Committee on the generality of the matter.
2 November 2000