21. Letter to the Commissioner from
Mr Mike Penning,
4 December 2003|
Following alleged newspaper comments by Belinda McCammon
in the New Zealand press I thought it important that I should
set out (1) Belinda's role in Iain Duncan Smith's leadership campaign
office of 2001 and (2) the short period that she was in the Leader's
office following Iain's victory.
(1) Belinda's role in Iain Duncan Smith's leadership
campaign office of 2001
Belinda joined the campaign team as a paid employee
in a three person press team and was directly answerable to me
as Head of Media in the campaign. Two weeks before the end of
the leadership contest my deputy left to take up employment elsewhere.
For the last two weeks of the campaign the media operation was
run by Belinda and myself.
(2) The short period that she was in the Leader's
office following Iain's victory
Following Iain's victory Belinda was employed in
the Leader's office which was then based in Conservative Central
I do not know what Belinda's job status was in the
Leader's office but she was clearly not employed as a press office.
All press officers were based on the second floor of CCO under
the jurisdiction of Nick Wood, the Director of Media. To my knowledge
Belinda would not have had access toor involvement inany
constituency business or correspondence. She would not have been
present at any meetings of a privileged nature. Her alleged critical
comments of Iain Duncan Smith's employment of Mrs Duncan Smith
could not have been based in any knowledge of Mr Duncan Smith's
4 December 2003