Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner
for Standards from Mr John Maxton MP
I acknowledge receipt of your letter of 20th April.
It is very clear that you had no evidence, as would
be understood by any normal person, from Mr Nelson except his
letter prior to announcing that you were undertaking an inquiry.
I thus make the following observations.
Firstly it is extremely doubtful that you have the
authority to undertake an inquiry into Members` Office Costs Allowances.
Secondly you were in breach of Clause 69 when you
informed me on January 27th that you were undertaking an inquiry
in that you had no evidence to support an unsubstantiated allegation.
Thirdly you were in breach of Clause 67 by seeking
the evidence yourself rather than waiting for Mr Nelson to supply
it. I quote from your letter of 16th February:
"In this case the complainant said that the
other people mentioned in the letter which you have seen would
be able to give me an account of these events, and, as is my usual
practice I am asking them to assist my enquiry by setting out
the facts as they know them."
Fourthly you were also in breach of Clause 69 in
that you did not wait for a response from myself before beginning
your inquiry. Indeed in the radio interview you did for NewsDrive
Scotland on January 27th you clearly state that you would ask
for my views and only then decide whether further investigation
I am aware that I am making serious allegations and
am thus copying this letter to the Chairman of the Committee and
to Madam Speaker for their information.
1 May 2000