7a. Written statement by Mr Paul Baverstock,
15 October 2003 |
1. I took up the post of Director, Strategic
Communication for the Conservative Party on January 15th
2. I accepted the post in a face-to-face meeting
with Iain Duncan Smith on Sunday, 15th December 2003
at his flat in Tufton Court, Tufton Street, Westminster.
3. In my meeting with Mr Duncan Smith on 15th
December 2003, I expressed my explicit concerns about the potential
demands my accepting the post offered would place on my family.
In response, Iain Duncan Smith replied that he was in great sympathy
with my concerns, and that the only way to address them was to
be rigorous in scheduling time together. He went on to say, however,
that "it would be diffiult to achieve". Further, "that
my wife has worked for me as my Secretary since I became an MP"
and "even that doesn't allow us to spend as much time together
as we would like." While I am in no position to confirm the
details of Betsy Duncan Smith's employment, not the substance
or intensity of that employment, I was left in no doubt of the
fact of her employment.
4. Upon taking my post I can confirm I was a
recipient of Vanessa Gearson's e-mail of [xxx]
in which she expressed her concerns and which I understand has
been passed to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
5. I can also confim that I, along with the other
recipients of Vanessa Gearson's e-mail referred to in Point 4
abovereceived a subsequent e-mail from Ms Gearson in which
she explicitly stated that the concerns she raised had been met
and satisfactorily resolved. I assumed the matter closed at that
6. I was at no time aware that Ms Gearson was
placed under pressure to write her second e-mail of point 5 above,
but rather wrote it of her own volition.
7. When Ms Gearson lost her position as Administrative
Head of the Leader's Office, and the loss of status that entailed,
Iain Duncan Smith was at pains to be supportive of her both publicly
15 October 2003
59 Submitted to the Commissioner without a date of
the e-mail Back