Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 63

Letter to Mr John Maxton MP from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

I was sorry to receive your letter of 17 May 2000 as I had hoped I had provided you with information about these matters in my letter of 4 May. I trust the following will be of some value.

When I received the written complaint from Mr Nelson I wrote to you immediately on 27 January 200, copying his letter to you. I said in that letter that I had decided that this was a matter I should investigate and asked for your comments and any evidence you wished me to consider. You are mistaken in saying that I would wait for your response before taking the matter further (see copy attached).

I have said to you throughout that at any point I may decide that I do not need to continue an investigation. This either occurs because a Member tells me he or she has made a mistake and broken the Rules or Code of Conduct or because I have collected all the evidence I consider necessary to come to a fair conclusion on a complaint. I have also said to you, on a number of occasions, that I would not come to any conclusion on this complaint until I had considered all the information I had collected along with any response you wished to make after you had had the opportunity to see any of the information which might be at variance with your account. This has been my approach throughout and remains so.

I hope this makes it clear that I have not misled you, something I would never do deliberately.

I am writing to you under separate cover with the information which we have discussed on a number of occasions and look forward to hearing from you.

19 May 2000

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