Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Written Evidence

35.  Letter to Mr Rikki Radford from Councillor Geoff Walker, 12 October 2003

Further to current reports in the press, a couple of weeks ago I received a telephone call from a Newsnight research assistant, whose name escapes me, claiming to be researching into Iain's constituency work. They were enquiring as to the ease of contact I had with Iain and I confirmed that I had fairly frequent communication with him, both when he is in the constituency and by telephone when the occasion demands. I made the point that Iain still spends a considerable amount of time looking after his constituency and worked very hard to maintain local contacts.

She went on to ask if I had any contact with Betsy. I confirmed that most contacts were during visits here in the constituency when she accompanied Iain. On being pressed for more information, I also confirmed that on several occasions Betsy had contacted me by phone to ask if I would attend a function as Iain's representative as he was unavoidably prevented from attending due to prior commitments. These were usually events such as annual St. Georges Day Parades for the Scouts, and similar functions. (These requests were made to me as Leader of the Group, hence similar approaches to other members would have been unlikely.)

On being pressed further for more details, I explained that this was a little while ago and that lately, contacts with Iain had been either direct by telephone to Iain, or through yourself or Christine Watson at the House of Commons.

I trust this information will clarify the contacts made.

12 October 2003

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