14. Letter to the Commissioner from
Dr Vanessa Gearson, 5 November 2003|
Thank you for your letter of 27 October 2003 which,
as a result of the postal strike, I only received today. I do
apologise for any inconvenience the delay in my response may have
With regard to the two questions you raise regarding
my email of 30 January 2002, I can confirm that:
1. I did not discuss whether or not to send the
email with Mr MacGregor or anyone else. Indeed, I did not discuss
the email in any context with anyone at all in advance of it being
As I explained on p.11 of my written submission to
you dated l6 October 2003,
I wrote the email in preparation for a planned meeting between
the Chairman, Mrs May, the Chief Executive, Mr MacGregor, and
Mr Duncan Smith's Parliamentary Private Secretary, Mr Paterson.
This meeting is detailed on the first line of Appendix 1the
email of 30 January 2003.
The email was intended to advise them of issues which needed to
be discussed and resolved.
2. The idea to send the email was mine alone.
The circulation was also my sole decision.
My objective in sending the email was to protect
Mr Duncan Smith by ensuring that action was taken to resolve these
outstanding issues as quickly as possible. I had previously and
repeatedly raised the question of Mr Duncan Smith's financial
arrangements in weekly communications meetings and, as such, all
of the addressees of the email were aware of and involved in these
issues. However, the matters had still not been resolved.
The email circulation list included the most senior
members of Conservative Central Office at that timethe
Chairman and Chief Executive (whose responsibilities required
their direct involvement in the resolution of these matters) and
the newly appointed Director of Communications, Mr Baverstock.
As I noted on p.11 of my submission. I also blind-copied the email
to my deputy, Miss Layton, as a matter of regular office procedure,
in the event she might need to substitute for me in my absence.
As I said during our meeting (Transcript. pp. 37&38),
I did not know at that time that Mr Duncan Smith was planning
to remove Mr MacGregor, or anyone else, from Conservative Central
Office and therefore all correspondence was sent in absolute good
I do hope my answers help to clarify these matters
related to the email but, as ever, please do not hesitate to let
me know if I can be of any further assistance.
5 November 2003
76 See PCS Written Submission 13. Back
See PCS Written Submission 46. Back
See Volume III, PCS Oral Evidence 9 Back