Jacqui Smith - Standards and Privileges Committee Contents


I am writing to you in confidence to ask whether you have any further or fuller evidence you would wish me to consider in respect of your complaint against the Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP about the identification of her main home for the purposes of her claims against Parliamentary allowances.

Since I am, as you know, undertaking an inquiry into this matter, this letter and your response is subject to parliamentary privilege. I would be very grateful therefore if you would not disclose this letter or your reply or the fact or contents of our communication to any other person. I would expect both letters, however, to be included among the evidence attached to any memorandum I prepare on your complaint to the Committee on Standards and Privileges and, if I do submit such a memorandum, this exchange would be likely to form part of the evidence published by the Committee with any report it produces. I am likely also to show our correspondence to Ms Smith during the course of this inquiry.

I have been examining carefully documentary evidence to establish the nights which Ms Smith has spent at the London residence, at the residence in Redditch, and elsewhere. The purpose has been to establish whether in each of the past few years Ms Smith has spend more nights in London than in any other location. The time spent away from either residence, for holiday, business, or any other purpose does, of course, affect the overall arithmetic.

It would be very helpful to know whether on reflection, you have any further evidence in addition to that set out in your letters to me of 16 February which you would like me to consider. In particular, it would be helpful to know whether you have any further evidence to suggest that Ms Smith did not spend some Thursday nights at her London residence up to March 2009; and any further evidence you have to suggest that she did not spend some nights in her London residence during the summer and over the Christmas and New Year of 2008/2009, including Christmas day.

It may be that you have no further information to that which is included in your earlier letter. In that case I would quite understand. But I hope you will forgive me for checking the position again with you at this stage in my inquiry.

I enclose a note setting out the procedure I follow for receiving evidence from witnesses. If you could let me have a reply to this letter within the next three weeks, I would be most grateful. Thank you for your help on this matter.

22 April 2009

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