Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 15

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

Thank you for your letter of the 19:05:2000. You will appreciate that responding to the 29 questions you raise, some of which contain within them further questions, will take some time. I will try to meet your date of 12:06:2000 but cannot guarantee a full response by then. You will appreciate that my duties take considerable time.

There is a further matter arising out of your letter and that is the second sentence. You indicate you remind me not to discuss evidence with any other person. Could you remind me when you first sought to impose such a condition on my actings. Given that your office appears to have discussed the evidence or at least the complaint with the media it does seem somewhat unequal that I am to keep silent. You will also appreciate that such a condition will hamper collection of information to respond to your questions. For example, if I am to ask people at Delta House about Mr Rowley`s presence there, his supervision of (say) Kevin Reid, Mr Rowley`s apparent assertions that he was in a position to know all Kevin`s activities, I will inevitably require to discuss at least part of his evidence.

If you consider nonetheless that I must keep silent I would have to ask you to provide me with the reference as to where such a power in your office is prescribed by law. I will await your response on this point. A speedy response will of course improve the prospect of meeting your date of 12th June.

30 May 2000

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