Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Eighth Report


Questions for Mr Archy Kirkwood


1.    Please explain your role as a Director and Trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd. and the purpose and tasks of the Trust.

2.    You say you were appointed a Director/Trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd in 1984. The 'miscellaneous and unremunerated' category in the Register became available in 1994 but you did not then make an entry in the category. You registered it in 1995.

—   what was the reason for the timelag?

3.    When did you become Chair of Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd?

—   did you consider reflecting this change of role in your Register entry?

—   if so, why did you not do so?

4.    You say you are Chairman of the 'JRSST Charitable Trust'.

—   what is its full name?

—   what does it do and how is it related to Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Limited?

The accounts

5.    You say that the extract from the accounts you have provided shows all sums of money shown against your name in the Trust accounts since you became a Director and Trustee.

—   do these sums cover all Trust expenditure from which you benefited in any way?

—   if anything else occurs to you, please let me know.

6.    The extract from the accounts shows a payment to you in 1992 of £10,716 and one of £2,000 to Roxburgh and Berwick Liberal Association. A note reads 'the accounts for the year 1992 show an allocation of £12,716 for political purposes to AJK rather than £10,716 and an allocation of £2,000 to the R&BLA'.

—   why do you think this was?

7.    Can you confirm that, with the exception of the £2,000 referred to above, all the payments to you recorded between 1989 and 1992 in the extract from the Trust accounts you have supplied relate to the employment of Mr Jacobs?

—   do they include the severance payments to Mr Jacobs and if not where would these payments be recorded?

8.    The extract from the accounts for 1997 shows 'Research Assistance and Publication Costs'. Your Register entry in the first register of the new Parliament shows 'A contribution of more than 25% of my election expenses at the General Election'.

—   why is there no entry for research assistance in the new Parliament Register?

—   where in the accounts is the assistance with election expenses shown?

Paul Jacobs

9.    You say that Paul Jacobs was engaged and paid by the Trust from their office in York.

—   who was his employer? Please supply me with a copy of his contract.

—   what work did he do for you?

—   to what extent was he involved in your election campaign in 1992?

Julian Astle

10.  Who employed Julian Astle?

—   please supply me with a copy of his contract.

Paul Hodgson

11.  Were either yourself or Professor Smith paid for the work you did on the regulation of remuneration of top executives for which the Trust paid Paul Hodgson?

—   how was the resultant work used and by whom? Could it be said to have supported you in your work as an MP?

Committee entertainment

12.  You say the Trustees have made available to you £2000 over the course of a Parliament to support your role as Chairman of the Select Committee.

—   what expenses cannot be met by the Select Committee itself?

—   have the Committee taken any formal note of the support?

Political lobbying

13.  You say that the Trust is not engaged in political lobbying. On the other hand you say that the Trust uses its income to fund 'non-charitable causes and political causes'.

—   why do you say that the Trust is not engaged in political lobbying?

—   how would you define political lobbying?

14.  You say that the Trust 'makes awards to organisations from all sides of the political spectrum whose applications for funding for projects accord with the company's articles of association' and that between the last two general elections £285,000 was given to Conservative-party related bodies.

—   what are the articles of association and the purpose of the Trust? Please supply any written information about this.

—   please provide me with more details of the bodies which receive grant aid from the Trust and a breakdown by political affiliation of total grants made to bodies, where available since you became Chairman.

Conflict of interest

15.  Have you ever been conscious of a possible conflict of interest between your roles as a grant-giver and as a recipient of grant from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd?

—   if you have ever had such a concern, how did you manage the possible conflict?

—   do you take part in the Trust's discussions when the question of support for yourself and/or your constituency is raised? If any minutes are available on such a matter please let me see them.

16.  How does the amount of support you receive compare with that received by your Liberal Democrat colleagues?

—   if it is greater, how is the difference justified?

17.  Have you ever felt there has been a conflict of interest between your role with Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd and your roles in the House as Chairman of a Select Committee and member of the Commission?

—   has your involvement with the Trust ever led you to declare an interest when taking part in parliamentary proceedings?

—  have you ever declared an interest when your Committee has been taking evidence from an organisation supported by the Trust?

—   with hindsight, do you now think there have been occasions on which it would have been wise to declare an interest?

18.  In the light of these complaints are there any other matters you wish to bring to my attention?

29 January 2002

Elizabeth Filkin

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