Letter to Mr Geoffrey Bindman
from the Chairman of the Committee on
Standards and Privileges
Thank you for your letter of 13 December, which the
Committee will have before it when it meets tomorrow.
I shall look forward to receiving Mr Vaz's responses
which Iand no doubt my colleagues on the Committeewill
read with great care. If the Commissioner believes it is appropriate
to make changes or corrections to her report in the light of these
responses I am sure she will do so.
If there is material in the Commissioner's report
or the annexes which Mr Vaz believes should not be published,
I would be grateful if you could let the Clerk know precisely
what that is so that the Committee can consider it at the appropriate
time. (To set the record straight, I should mention that your
request on Mr Vaz's behalf for certain passages of the Commissioner's
earlier report to be omitted was not ignored by the last Committee;
I understand that the Committee considered the request and decided
not to accede to it.)
I can assure you that the Committee is aware that
there is a need for confidentiality in its handling of this case,
as there is in every case which comes before it.
Finally, you raised the position of Mr Bottomley
and Mr Ottaway, who have signed an early day motion relating to
the Commissioner. To my knowledge neither of them has made any
allegation linking Mr Vaz to a "whispering campaign"
against the Commissioner, and I see no reason at all why either
Member should stand aside from this case.
17 December 2001