Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 11

Letter to the Rt Hon Dr John Reid MP from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

Thank you for your letter of 13 April. I am sorry about the confusion of terminology. My office used the term `official` to make sure that you knew I would be making a record of any information you give to me as part of my enquiry. You are of course welcome to have an informal discussion with me at any time on any matter.

The complaint has not been extended in any way. The complaint was that, for some period, staff employed on salaries funded through the Westminster allowances were deployed on Labour Party Campaign work for the Scottish election.

I have not concluded all my enquiries as illness has cancelled some meetings and they have been rescheduled. When my enquiries are complete I will, of course, provide you with details of any evidence which I have collected which seems to be at variance with your statement before I take any view on such evidence.

The meeting we have arranged for 19 April is to allow me to make sure I have a full picture of your understanding of the events. I will have a colleague present to take a note and I shall ask you if you are happy for me to record our discussion so that I have a precise record of your answers. If you are happy with this arrangement I shall send you a copy of the transcript for you to correct before I make any use of it. I always inform Members that they are welcome to be accompanied at meetings if they wish.

Perhaps you would let me know if you are willing to meet me on Wednesday, as arranged, now that I have explained the purpose and arrangements more fully. You may prefer to talk to me on the telephone and if so perhaps you would let me know when this would be convenient.

Unless I hear to the contrary I shall assume our arrangements stand and that we shall meet on Wednesday 19 April at 5.30 pm at 7 Millbank.

14 April 2000

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