Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Written Evidence

33.  E-mail to Mr Rikki Radford from Councillor Matthew Davis, 29 September 2003

Subject: Newsnight

As promised an account of my call from Newsnight.

I was phoned earlier today by a woman who gave her name as Louise and who told me that she was a researcher for BBC Newsnight doing a story on how active MPs are in their constituencies.

She told me that she had "heard" that Iain was very active locally and wondered how local Councillors would alert him to events happening locally that they wished to invite him to. She went on to ask, in three different ways, how involved Betsy was in planning Iain's diary and whether she was the person to whom requests for Iain to attend things should be made.

I was frankly, suspicious from the start of this conversation, since I did not feel that she was being honest with me and it did seem all too peculiar that the MP she was supposedly investigating, regarding an essentially local story, just happens to be the leader of the Conservative Party. I therefore referred her to you and did not answer any of her questions except to say that, personally, I would normally seek to contact Iain via yourself as I was suggesting she should do.

It would seem apparent that Louise actively lied to me about both the reason for her enquiry, and the topic of the Newsnight item that she was researching, and I would love to make a complaint to the BBC Governors about that, but won't unless it is cleared higher up first.

If I can assist in any further way then do please let me know.

29 September 2003

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