Jacqui Smith - Standards and Privileges Committee Contents


I would welcome your help with a complaint I have received about the identification by Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP of [… Road] as her main home for the purposes of the claims from parliamentary allowances which she makes for her constituency home.

This letter is marked private and confidential. The information I request and receive during the course of my enquiries is subject to parliamentary privilege. I would be very grateful, therefore, if you would not disclose the contents of this letter or the contents of your reply to anyone else. I am likely to show your reply to the Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP during the course of my inquiry and your response would be likely to be included as evidence in any memorandum I prepare for the House of Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges who would expect subsequently to publish it along with their report. Until that time, however, our exchanges are confidential.

The reason I am writing to you is because Ms Sara Smith has suggested that you would be happy to confirm that Ms Jacqui Smith MP was at her London address over Christmas and New Year 2008/09. I hope you may also be able to help me on the overall frequency of Ms Jacqui Smith's overnight stays at the same house.

In respect of Christmas/New Year 2008/09, Ms Jacqui Smith has said that she and her family spent the nights of 24-26 December inclusive and 31 December 2008 at the London house, [… Road]. I would be very grateful to know whether you can confirm this and if so, how you are able to do so.

Ms Jacqui Smith has also given me evidence which suggests that in most weeks, including in the parliamentary recess, she has stayed overnight at the same address from Monday to Wednesday inclusive, with some Thursday nights and a few part weekends. I would be very grateful to know whether you are able to comment on or confirm this. In particular it would be helpful to know if you can confirm Ms Smith's presence overnight at the London house during the parliamentary recesses, and more specifically, last summer. Again, it would be most helpful to know the basis on which you are able to provide such confirmation, if you can indeed do so.

I enclose a note which sets out the procedure I follow in inviting evidence from witnesses which I hope you may find helpful.

I would be most grateful for any assistance you can give me on the matters raised in this letter. It would be particularly helpful if I could have a response within the next three weeks.

14 May 2009

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