Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fifth Report

Annex ii81

Letter to Mr Keith Vaz MP from the Chairman of the Committee on Standards and Privileges


Thank you for your letter of 23 October which I have discussed with the Commissioner.

Journalists do not gather information for or on behalf of the Commissioner. If they let the Commissioner know that they have information which is relevant to one of the Commissioner's inquiries they are asked to provide it to her. Occasionally, if the Commissioner sees that information has been published which might be relevant to a complaint she is investigating, she might ask the journalist to send her the information. Information provided by journalists is weighed and tested as carefully as information provided by anyone else. Nothing they publish is protected by parliamentary privilege.

At its meeting yesterday the Committee expressed some concern at the length of time it was taking to bring to a conclusion the current inquiry into a complaint against you. We trust you will be able to respond promptly to the outstanding questions from the Commissioner so that this matter can be resolved without delay.

24 October 2001

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