38. Letter to the Commissioner from
Councillor Linda Huggett, 23 October 2003 |
Complaint against Mr lain Duncan Smith MP
I write to acknowledge receipt of your letter of
20th October 2003.
I have read through the "purported" transcript
of the telephone conversation that took place between myself and
Louise Weston of BBC Newsnight in September this year. I do recall
having a conversation with her although she did not disclose her
surname and I cannot remember the exact date.
I would like to place on record that at no time during
that conversation did she advise me that the conversation was
being taped and if she had done so I would not have spoken to
her. I am a fully qualified solicitor and it is my understanding
that obtaining so called "evidence" in this manner is
quite clearly in breach of the guidelines contained in the Data
Protection Act 1998 which state that the consent of the person
making the statement must be given first. It is therefore my opinion
that any "evidence" obtained in this way is inadmissible.
Turning now to the transcript itself it appears to
have been "chopped and changed around" so much it is
almost totally unrecognisable from what I originally said. I am
not a Chingford Councillor and to my recollection of what was
said the written transcript has been typed in the wrong order.
It has been altered in such a way that it is completely inaccurate.
It has taken any comments I made completely out of context and
in some parts the wording does not appear to make any sense whatsoever.
Although I am a Monkhams Ward Councillor for the
London Borough of Redbridge I have never had any actual knowledge
of how Mr Iain Duncan Smith runs his office or what his working
or secretarial arrangements are. There has never been any reason
why I should need this information as if I want to contact him
now I do so through his Constituency Office at Chingford or through
his Parliamentary Agent Mr R Radford.
It is extremely difficult to remember when I last
spoke to Mrs Duncan Smith at the House of Commons. During the
last two year period since Mr Duncan Smith was elected as Conservative
Leader I remember having spoken to her once at his office at the
House of Commons. I believe that this was sometime after he had
been elected as Leader between September and October 2001. Although
I cannot recall the exact date I remember that I was on holiday
with my family in Cyprus when the Twin Towers at New York were
destroyed and Mr Duncan Smith was elected as Leader.
I returned from holiday on September 16th 2001 and
I needed to contact Mr Duncan Smith fairly urgently to ask him
to support the local campaign to save the "Sir James Hawkey
Hall" from closure and inform him about various important
local issues that had arisen in the Monkhams Ward before our local
"Common Sense" leaflet was prepared (of which I was
a co-author) and sent out to local residents. I therefore telephoned
the office and spoke to Mrs Duncan Smith at the House of Commons
who said that she would relay the information on to her husband
and I also offered her my congratulations on Mr Duncan Smith being
elected as Leader. I enclose a copy of the Common Sense leaflet
setting out the various local matters which I hope is of assistance
as it will help in establishing the time.
I do not feel there is anything more that I can factually
remember but I have no objection to your telephoning me either
on my direct line at my office on *** or at my home on ***.
23 October 2003