Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 22

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

Thank you for your letter of 15 June.

I cannot take any view on this complaint until I have your considered response to my questions.

To answer your further points, I am satisfied that Mr Nelson provided me with sufficient evidence to require me to conduct an enquiry. To date I have taken no view on the reliability of Mr Nelson or of the evidence which I have collected. I will only do so in the light of your response.

I confirm that I have provided you with confirmed records of interviews which appear to be at variance with your account to give you the opportunity to challenge or comment on them. As I said, I still await a few items of factual information. If any appears to be at variance with your account I will let you see it immediately.

I am sorry that, in response to your questions, I referred to a telephone conversation I had with Mr Rafferty on April 6th. I attach my file note of that conversation for your information. You will see that the interview on 18 April is much fuller, covers the same points and was confirmed as accurate by Mr Raferty. This is why I sent you that document rather than the file note of the earlier conversation. My apologies for the confusion I caused.

You mention my paragraph 5 (vi). You requested the references to evidence quoted from Mr Rowley, Mr Rafferty and Mr Sullivan. The references are as follows:

    Conversation with Mr Rowley, Q 13
    Conversation with Mr Rafferty, 18 April, Q 3 and Q 6
    Conversation with Mr Sullivan, page 5 (midway), page 8 (midway)

I am grateful to you for confirming that you are only seeking the make the fullest response and avoid any misunderstandings. I appreciate the seriousness of any complaint and would therefore be grateful to receive your response at the earliest opportunity so that I can try to bring these matters to a close.

19 June 2000

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