Letter to the Chairman of the Committee
on Standards and Privileges from Mr John Maxton MP
As you know I have been the subject of an investigation
by Miss Filkin for the past 6 months.
I am writing to inform you that I will not be in
the House of Commons from July 3rdJuly 24th. I have also
told Miss Filkin that this is the case. Since I have very strong
reservations concerning the way in which Miss Filkin has conducted
this inquiry I do not believe it would be appropriate for the
Committee to consider any report produced by Miss Filkin in my
absence. Indeed, whatever the decision of the Report I would be
grateful for the opportunity to appear before the Committee to
discuss my reservations with them.
I am saddened and disappointed to learn that you
have written to Ms Suzanne Hilliard ordering her to give information
to Miss Filkin. You may recall that I twice spoke to you to express
my anger at the way in which Ms Hilliard was being treated by
She insisted on calling to London from Glasgow Ms
Hilliard, a 22-year-old student, four weeks before her final examinations.
The girl was asked to pay her own airfare and then re-claim it.
She was not allowed to claim subsistence even though she was away
from home for more than 14 hours.
Before and during her finals Miss Filkin continued
to pester Ms Hilliard for further information despite receiving
letters from her lawyer on the matter. This caused considerable
distress to a young intelligent person at a very important point
in her life. The information that was being sought was to say
the least trivial and of little importance to the inquiry.
I am therefore sorry that you should have considered
it appropriate to write as you did to Miss Hilliard. The only
letter she should be receiving from you or Miss Filkin is one
of apology for the distress she has been caused.
I would be grateful if you could ensure this letter
is distributed to all members of your committee.
Can I ask whether the Memorandum I wrote in response
to the Ninth Report of the Committee on Standards and Privileges
has now been sent to the other members of the Committee? I find
it strange that correspondence that one Member of Parliament writes
concerning the work of a Select Committee is not given to them.
28 June 2000