Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 41

File note by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

Mr John Maxton
3 March 2000
Telephone call with Mr Maxton

Mr Maxton told me that he would be sending me his response shortly for which I thanked him. We then had quite a lengthy discussion of the matters that he`d raised in his letters and which I felt I had replied to.

Mr Maxton believes it is inappropriate for me to have begun an investigation into the complaint against him because he does not consider that I have sufficient evidence. I have explained the basis on which I am proceeding, that I am waiting for his response, that I am following up the other witnesses who have been mentioned to me and when I have all these pieces of information I will ensure that if there is any discrepancy between his account and others that he will know of that and he will be able to comment on it and challenge it if he wishes prior to my making any decision or reporting to the Committee.

Mr Maxton is most unhappy about this as a process and he believes I should dismiss the complaint as malicious and a vendetta. I have explained that I cannot do this and that I must treat both complainant and the Member of Parliament equally fairly.

Mr Maxton said he would have to take this up with the House authorities but would be replying to me shortly.

I said to Mr Maxton that I realise how distressing complaints but the best way to take the matter forward was for him to give me his reply to these allegations.

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