Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex F

Letter to Mr Michael Trend MP

from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards


Thank you for your letter of 21 January in response to mine of 6 January. You said that I might come back to you if I would like further details and there are one or two points which I think it would be useful to follow up so that the Standards and Privileges Committee and I may fully understand the position.

First, you refer a number of times in your letter to conversations you had with the Fees Office about your situation. The nature of these conversations is clearly important to understanding how the misunderstanding you describe arose. Do you have a record of any of these conversations? Even a diary entry would be helpful in confirming when they occurred.

Secondly, in the third paragraph of your letter you refer to the varying pattern of your overnight stays in London. Again, do you have any record of these stays (even if only partial ones)?

Thirdly, in the fourth paragraph of your letter you say that, for the purposes of ACA, your main home continued to be in London even after you had bought your home in Windsor in 1994. How did you understand that this could be so?

Fourthly, on page 2 of your letter you say (in the fifth paragraph on that page) that you discussed the definition of your main home with Mr Cameron after the Mail on Sunday published its article on 15 December. Was that the first occasion on which you had discussed that matter with the Fees Office or had you discussed it on any previous occasions? If so, with what outcome?

I intend to ask the Director of Operations, Mr Archie Cameron, for his comments on these matters and will copy to you my letter to him. Meanwhile I am sending him a copy of this letter and yours, for information.

Finally, I repeat my invitation to you to let me have, should you wish to do so, any suggestions you might wish to make to help Members avoid such a misunderstanding in future.

22 January 2003

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