Examination of Witness (Question Numbers
2 NOVEMBER 2009
Q120 Chairman: Would you like to
begin then, Lord Martin, by reading from paragraph 1 of your memorandum?
Lord Martin of Springburn: (1)
I wish to set out to the Committee the facts as I know them with
regard to the search of the offices of the hon Member for Ashford
on Thursday 27 November 2008. (2) The first part of this memorandum
deals with the search and contains both my personal recollection
of events where I was directly involved and also information related
to me on 27 November and thereafter on matters which occurred
before the day of the search and afterwards. The second part the
memorandum deals briefly with the establishment of your Committee.
(3) This is the first time I have commented on these matters.
This is because I regard it as my duty to account first to the
House and its committees and not to the media. (4) A crucial meeting
of each sitting day is the morning briefing attended by the Speaker,
Deputy Speakers, Clerk of the House and other senior officials.
On Wednesday 26 November 2008, as I approached the Speaker's Study
for the morning briefing meeting at 10.27 (the meeting normally
starts promptly at 10.30), I was met by the Speaker's Secretary
and the Serjeant at Arms. The Speaker's Secretary told me that
the Serjeant wished to see me alone on an urgent matter. The Serjeant
asked me into an adjoining room and closed the door so that we
could speak privately. (The Speaker's Secretary told me later
that he had suggested to the Serjeant that he should be present,
but the Serjeant had declined.) (5) The Serjeant told me that
counter-terrorism officers from the Metropolitan Police were investigating
a Member and might wish shortly to arrest that individual for
conspiring to commit misconduct in public office. The Serjeant
said that she did not know the Member's name. It was agreed that
I would be contacted when the Serjeant knew more. No reference
was made to a search of the Member's office within the precincts.
(6) I was extremely concerned that a Member was being investigated
by anti-terrorist police. In my mind I had an idea of Islamic
or Irish terrorism. I had no idea at the time of the very different
type of offence of which Mr Green would be accused. (7) The Serjeant
explained that the matter was strictly confidential. It was not
unusual for senior officers to approach me on confidential matters.
It was my understanding that such matters would always be discussed
with senior officers as necessary before I was informed. (8) In
the late afternoon of the same day (after 1600 hours but before
1700 hours) the Serjeant telephoned me at my residence to inform
me that she did not know the name of the Member concerned but
she was likely to be informed very early the next morning. The
Serjeant agreed to call me at 0730 hours the following morning.
(9) At 0730 on Thursday 27 November the Serjeant telephoned me.
The conversation was brief. She told me that she was calling from
her residence. It was not until the conversation was underway
that she informed me that a police officer was with her. The Serjeant
informed me that the Member was Damian Green and that an arrest
would take place later that day. She stated that Mr Green's home,
his constituency office and his office within the precincts would
be searched. (10) I believed, as I was entitled to, that the search
of Mr Green's office within the precincts would be carried out
under a proper warrant. The need for a warrant is clear from the
guidance note issued by the then Clerk of the House in the year
2000. Although I was not aware of the terms of the guidance until
recently, the guidance should have been followed. The Serjeant
did not inform me that the basis of the search would be a consent
form to be signed by her as opposed to a warrant. I would not
have expected consent to be given without the Speaker's explicit
permission. I would not have given my permission. (11) It is my
clear view, and was at the time that Damian Green's office was
searched, that without a search warrant the police should not
be able to search the offices of a Member in the course of a criminal
investigation. Had I become aware at any time before the search
was completed that there was no search warrant, I would have made
it clear that either no search should take place or, if it had
started, that it had to stop immediately. (12) The need for a
search warrant was basic. It never occurred to me that the Serjeant
would give consent to a police search of a Member's office in
a police investigation without a warrant. Until I discovered the
following day that there was no warrant, I had assumed the search
was authorised by a search warrant. This seemed to me to be so
basic that I did not ask the Serjeant about the warrant when I
was first told of an impending search on the morning of 27 November.
By the time I discovered there was no warrant, which was in the
evening of 27 November, the search was over. (13) I concluded
my 7.30 conversation on 27 November by asking the Serjeant to
be kept informed. After the call I left for my constituency in
Glasgow. (14) On the afternoon of Thursday 27th I travelled to
visit my eldest brother who is chronically ill. My brother and
his wife live a distance of 60 miles away from Glasgow. At approximately
1700 hours the Speaker's Secretary telephoned me at my brother's
house to inform me that the police had come into the House and
were searching Mr Green's office and that he understood that Mr
Green had been arrested in his constituency. The Speaker's Secretary
told me that the Clerk of the House had wanted to convey to me
that the search was underway and was being conducted properly.
He also told me that the Conservative Chief Whip, the Rt Hon Patrick
McLoughlin, wanted to speak to me. I requested details of the
paperwork relating to the search and told the Speaker's Secretary
to keep me informed of events and to pass further details to me
when I returned home. I also arranged for Mr McLoughlin to call
me later when I was back in Glasgow. I did not think it was appropriate
to use my brother's house for communications in view of his illness.
(15) During my journey back to Glasgow, the Speaker's Assistant
Secretary called me to explain that copies of the paperwork approving
the search were now in his possession and could be faxed to me.
I explained that I would not have access to a fax machine before
I spoke to Mr McLoughlin at 2030 hours that night. I therefore
asked the Assistant Secretary to tell me the name of the magistrate
who had signed what I still presumed to be a proper search warrant.
He explained that there were only two names in the documents,
those of a police officer and the Serjeant. He described the document
as a consent form. I was seriously concerned that there was no
magistrate's warrant. (16) I expressed deep surprise and deep
concern that no warrant had been insisted upon when I spoke to
Mr McLoughlin at 2100 hours that evening. The lack of a warrant
and the conduct of the search were the main topics of our conversation.
(17) On Friday 28th and on Saturday 29th November I had a number
of conversations with the Speaker's Secretary. These confirmed
my unease at the House officials' management of the police's entry
into the House and their search of Mr Green's office. The difficulties
of establishing detail were compounded by the absence of the Clerk
of the House who had left for private travel abroad. I am disappointed
that the Clerk of the House, who holds the office of Chief Executive,
was out of the country when there was so serious a situation in
the House. (18) I was also shocked when I was told that when the
Clerk had discovered the search was based on consent as opposed
to a warrant, he had instructed the Serjeant to write a letter
to the police officer in charge of the search to limit the search
to matters relating to the charge but that he had not prevented
the search from continuing. I have no legal qualifications, but
I understand that the consent to search by the Serjeant could
have been withdrawn at any stage. I would have expected it to
be withdrawn when the Clerk had found out that a warrant had not
been obtained. (19) I was further disappointed to be told that
Speaker's Counsel was not informed of the search on Thursday 27
November, the day of the search. (20) On 29 November the Speaker's
Secretary arranged for me to speak at around 1000 hours, for the
first time since the search, to Speaker's Counsel who had just
returned from overseas. I would point out, Chairman, that overseas
was Ireland; he was in Dublin at a conference. I learnt then of
what I regarded as serious failings: the failure to insist on
a warrant for search and the lack of co-ordination for the proper
handling of such a sensitive matter. (21) At around 1600 hours
on Saturday 29 November the Clerk of the House telephoned me briefly
to say that he was briefing the Leader of the House. He agreed
to my proposal that we should meet on Monday evening. This was
the first conversation that I had held with the Clerk since the
issue arose. Since I was in a public place when he telephoned,
the conversation was necessarily restricted. It would have been
very helpful for me to have the assistance of the Clerk over the
weekend and I regret that I did not. (22) Damian Green telephoned
me at home at my suggestion sometime after 1700 hours on 29 November.
I told him that I had not authorised the search but I pointed
out that I could not have stopped a search if there had been a
warrant. I asked if I could be of any help to him. Mr Green explained
the police had taken away the hard disk from his office in the
precincts and that on Monday his staff would be unable to do any
office work at all. I telephoned the Serjeant at her residence
to ask her to tell the police to return the hard disk to Mr Green's
office. This was done. (23) In view of the long-standing convention
that the House should be informed first, I decided not to speak
to the media but to make a statement to the House when it reconvened
on 3 December. The media caused considerable difficulty to my
wife and me at our home in Glasgow where they camped outside our
home all day and night. One photographer was so intrusive that
the police had to warn him about his conduct on our private property
and he agreed to leave the locality. (24) On Monday 1 December,
when I had returned to London, I met with the Speaker's Secretary
and the Clerk of the House at around 2100 hours to discuss the
details known to them. (25) On 2 December I again met with the
Clerk, Speaker's Counsel, the Serjeant at Arms and Speaker's Secretary.
The purpose of this meeting was for me to establish the facts
in order to make my statement to the House the next day. (26)
At this meeting officials agreed with me that there had been serious
failings in communication and in management. The Clerk told me
that he not known of the search until he saw it happening on television.
It was clear also that the Serjeant had known of the nature of
the police operation for close to a week before the 26 November.
I was disappointed when I learned that there had been several
meetings between the police and the Serjeant and when I asked
for the names of the police officers with whom she had met she
told me she could not recall them. I also asked if minutes or
notes of the meetings had been kept because I wanted to know precisely
what had happened and I was told by the Serjeant there were no
minutes and there were no notes. (27) I also learnt that the Serjeant
had not informed me that, at approximately 1500 hours on Wednesday
26 November, she had a meeting with three senior police officers
concerned in the operation and with Chief Superintendent Bateman
(the senior officer in charge of the Metropolitan Police at the
Palace) and that, during the course of that meeting, she had left
them in her room and gone to the Clerk Assistant to put to him
what she described as a "what if" scenario as to whether
she had the authority to consent to bring the police into a Member's
office. The Clerk Assistant, to whom the Serjeant at Arms reports,
had referred her to the Clerk of the House. The Serjeant had put
the same questions to the Clerk of the House and the Clerk had
informed her that she had that authority. (28) I would have expected
the Clerk of the House and the Clerk Assistant to have questioned
the Serjeant further as to why she was posing questions of this
type at this particular time. I was also disappointed that the
Serjeant did not inform me about her meeting with police officers
and her discussion of the issue of giving consent when she telephoned
me later that afternoon of 26 November. (29) During the course
of the meeting of 2 December, I asked the Serjeant why she had
conducted herself in this manner. The Clerk of the House intervened
to say that Chief Superintendent Bateman had bamboozled the Serjeant
and tricked her into keeping the matter from her immediate superiors.
The Clerk went on to say that, while Chief Superintendent Bateman
was a senior Metropolitan Police officer, he also had a duty towards
the House. (30) There were other worrying facts. For example,
it was only on the afternoon of 2 December that a letter was received
from Assistant Commissioner Quick informing me, as Speaker, of
his investigation concerning the hon Member for Ashford; it had
been written some days before. (31) In discussion with the Leader
of the House, I made it known that I wanted the House to consider
setting up a Speaker's Committee on the search of offices in the
Parliamentary Estate. There was an agreement when I made my statement
on 3 December that the Committee of Enquiry would be set up immediately.
That agreement was between me and the Leader. (32) After I had
made my statement to the House, the Leader later informed me that
a motion was going to be put down that the inquiry would not sit
until criminal proceedings were dealt with. She told me that she
had sought and was acting on the Attorney General's advice. I
appealed to the Prime Minister that evening that such a restriction
was unnecessary and that the Committee should meet as a matter
of urgency, but my request was declined. (33) The motion put to
the House on 8 December 2008 provided that the work of the Committee
be adjourned until the completion of any relevant police inquiry
or resulting criminal proceedings. (An amendment to remove this
provision was narrowly defeated.) (34) From then on until the
end of the police investigation and the statement by the DPP,
no action could be taken by the House to allow the Committee to
proceed to investigate matters related to this case. (35) As a
result of the House's decision to agree to the motion in the form
the Government proposed, I was unable to agree to the requests
I received on an almost daily basis to allow the matter to be
debated on the floor of the House. This caused resentment between
me and many Members of the House and was a matter of great regret
to me. (36) I was always concerned by this and when I left the
House in June I advocated, in my valedictory address, that the
Committee be established in order to investigate the detail and
make recommendations that would help to avoid something similar
occurring again. The Protocol which I announced on 3 December
was one means of preventing a similar incident. (37) I have read
Mr Green's evidence about his concern about the way in which parliamentary
privilege was determined in respect to the documents seized from
him by the police. I, like the whole House, always relied on the
advice of the Clerk of the House and his colleagues, who are the
experts on parliamentary privilege. I am sure that the Clerks
considered the issue in this case in the interests of the House
as a whole. (38) I certainly do not think that it would have been
practical or appropriate for the House as a whole to decide which
documents in this case might or might not have been privileged.
There may have been merits in the Committee on Standards and Privileges
meeting to consider relevant issues. As I have said earlier, I
wanted the special committee to be established as soon as possible.
However, once the House agreed the more restrictive motion tabled
by the Leader with its provision that the issue could not be considered
until any criminal case was resolved, I felt that I was inhibited
from allowing a motion which would have been debatable, and very
possibly prejudicial to any criminal proceedings, to refer the
matter to the Committee on Standards and Privileges. (39) I do
not believe that the correct decision was made by the Serjeant
in consenting to the search taking place. I also believe the House
through its Speaker was not served as well as it ought to have
been. Finally, I regret the delay in commencing your Committee's
work. (40) I look forward to amplifying these points and answering
any other questions when I give oral evidence.
Q121 Chairman: Thank you very much
for that, Lord Martin, and thank you for its very comprehensive
nature. Perhaps I might just begin by asking one or two questions
about your experience as Speaker. You were elected by the whole
House in October 2000 following the retirement of the now Baroness
Boothroyd; is that correct?
Lord Martin of Springburn: That
is correct, Sir.
Q122 Chairman: At that time was there
any kind of handover period or any kind of what is sometimes called
orientation or was it the case that you assumed the responsibilities
of Speaker from the moment at which the election of the House
Lord Martin of Springburn: No,
Sir Menzies, straight into the deep end. You just get on with
it. And if you recall as the new Speaker I was taking points of
order on the first day of my Speakership so no-one was going easy
on the new Speaker. In fact, I think in the early days it was
like the new headmaster coming into the school that some Members
were taking liberties, so there was no orientation; far from it.
Q123 Chairman: Perhaps a cane would
have been helpful. But you of course had been a Deputy Speaker
for some time.
Lord Martin of Springburn: I had
been a Deputy Speaker for some time but being a Deputy Speaker
and being a Speaker are light years apart because as Deputy Speaker
what you did was you took your share in the Chamber whereas you
soon learned when you became Speaker, and I have described the
Clerk as the Chief Executive of the organisation, as Speaker you
are like the Chairman of the organisation, and therefore you deal
with all sorts of people and all sorts of things. There is security,
which we have discussed, there is maintenance, and it is a caring
organisation because there are many thousands of people employed
here in the precincts of this Parliamentary Estate, so everyone
with any responsibility says, "If I put it across the Speaker's
desk then there is some responsibility shared." As a Deputy
Speaker that was not something that you had to deal with, so it
was very, very new.
Q124 Chairman: Of course you had
been the chairman of standing committees on many occasions as
part of your membership of the Speaker's Panel and I think also
you were at one stage the Chairman of the Administration Committee;
is that correct?
Lord Martin of Springburn: The
Q125 Chairman: But in none of these
roles, as you have described the role of Deputy Speaker, did you
have access or involvement in the duties of the Speaker?
Lord Martin of Springburn: No.
Q126 Chairman: Do I take it that
in neither of these roles you did not have that access either?
Lord Martin of Springburn: No,
the Admin Committee certainly there was more access to officials
and officials briefing you and decisions to be made on matters
like passes and accommodation and as to whether the media should
be on the Terrace and things like that.
Q127 Chairman: I think we remember
Lord Martin of Springburn: But
I think that anyone using common sense, provided the officers
of the House are straight with you and come to you and say, "Look,
I have a problem and this is the problem that I have," whether
you have an in-depth knowledge of the expertise that they have,
it is mainly common sense tells you what the answer would be.
However, you are very much dependent on the officials being straight
with you. If they are hiding something and not telling you the
full story then you come into difficulties. I found it easy to
draw on the other experiences I had as a Member of Parliament,
as a councillor in Glasgow City Council and also as a full-time
trade union officer and common sense prevailed provided that people
were being frank with you and there was nothing being hidden.
Q128 Chairman: I take it from all
that, Lord Martin, that you had had no experience of the sort
of circumstances which you found yourself facing in November 2008
in relation to Damian Green?
Lord Martin of Springburn: No
and I think the flaw there was an officer came to me and said
that this is highly confidential. That had happened in the past.
Other people responsible for security, including Serjeants, had
come to me and said, "Well, we are living in London where
terrorism has been a problem, there is a concern about a terrorist
cell operating and I want to tell you that this is happening and
it is being investigated." It was clear that the officer
who brought me the information was the messenger but it had been
discussed with others behind the scenes. It was very common indeed
for me as Speaker to get highly confidential information and in
this case I had a right to presume that others were involved.
Q129 Chairman: Can I ask you this
question: were you familiar with the existence of the McKay memorandum?
Lord Martin of Springburn: No
and I checked as soon as I was compiling this statement as to
when Sir William McKay, who was the first Clerk who served me
as Speaker, made this memorandum and it was actually in the summer
of 2000, the year I was elected, but it was under the Speakership
of Speaker Boothroyd. I do not know why the memorandum was created.
There is usually some reason for a Clerk to draw up a memorandum.
From the date I was given it would appear to me that it was during
a parliamentary recess but I was not Speaker at the time.
Q130 Chairman: And he never thought
to draw it to your attention when you assumed the responsibilities
of the Speaker?
Lord Martin of Springburn: No
because there is a whole labyrinth of Clerks' memoranda and there
is Erskine May. On a day-to-day basis the situation can change
from one particular crisis to another. It is for the procedural
experts, the Clerks, to say there is a memorandum covering that
or Erskine May says the following or we have some other document
which covers that. That is what I consider them to be there for
because there is not only one Clerk of the House; there is a whole
Clerk's Department and some are experts in different procedures.
If everything that a Speaker should know or everything that a
Clerk has created on paper is brought before the Speaker, then
the Speaker would be sitting in an attic somewhere doing nothing
but reading all the pieces of information that they put forward.
They are procedural experts, they like writing things; whereas
the House of Commons is a day-to-day activity. A Speaker has got
to prepare him or herself for the day ahead. In the old days it
was 2.30 and every day presents different problems.
Q131 Sir Alan Beith: Lord Martin,
in your memorandum you take us carefully through the sequence
of events when you were met on your way to the morning briefing
at 10.27 on Monday 2 November. When you were told by the Serjeant
a limited number of things about the possibility of a search,
why did you not at that stage seek the assistance of the Clerk?
I know you have just indicated that you thought he might have
been consulted anyway but from your own point of view would it
have been advantageous at that point to ask the Clerk, who was
of course in the next room awaiting you?
Lord Martin of Springburn: I was
told that there was a possibility. It was not definite that there
was going to be an arrest or search or anything else, but I was
told this in strict confidence, so therefore I was put in this
position that an officer told me, "I must tell you this information
in strictest confidence." The other danger is that any of
us in this room, and some of us are Privy Counsellorsin
fact looking around most of us are Privy Counsellorswhen
you are given information on Privy Council terms it is like the
confession box in my faith; you cannot repeat it. I had to treat
what an officer was saying in Privy Council terms because there
had been previous occasions where there had been leaks in newspapers
and perhaps my name has been involved and I would have said, "Thank
God I didn't tell anyone about this and therefore I cannot be
responsible for this." But let me say, Sir Alan, 50/50 vision
is what you have with hindsight. With hindsight, I would never
allow an officer to say, "This is confidential and you will
tell no-one else," but that had happened to me before and
it had worked well. Interestingly enough, it was usually a Serjeant
at Arms that would speak to me on that basis. The other worry
I had is that you have got to remember that from the outside world
across party we were seen sometimes as an enclosed organisation
and perhaps helping one another. Another worry I had was that
it was put to me it was an anti-terrorism organisation and that
Q132 Sir Alan Beith: I am going to
come on to that point in a moment but initially you obviously
felt inhibited, if I understand you right, by the way in which
the Serjeant said this was a confidential matter. An alternative
would have been to say to the Serjeant, "I assume you have
consulted the Clerk but if you have not I intend to do so,"
and let her object if she chose. That is with hindsight obviously.
Lord Martin of Springburn: That
is with hindsight and if I was asked to do that again that is
the way I would do it. But also it has got to be remembered the
interviewing process, there was a vacancy for Serjeant and it
was a new position in the sense that the new Serjeant was strictly
for security whereas the previous Serjeants were security, cleaning,
passes, all the things I did in the Admin Committee. I worked
closely with the Deputy Serjeant at Arms because the amount was
amazing. I think in personnel the only area that they did not
look after was catering. They had a great many responsibilities.
The new post was strictly security and ceremonial and also it
was brought in through the Tebbit reforms and it was said that
the new Serjeant would report to the Clerk Assistant and to the
Clerk of the House. Those were the two individuals they were to
report to. Bear in mind when I made the appointment of Serjeant
a body with independent advisers had brought the Serjeant applicants
down to five and that was the filter system and two would come
out of that and the Speaker would interview two. So I had a Serjeant
who had survived the short leet of five and come through to a
short leet of two. If it was a young security officer out there
that had only two months' experience under their belt I would
have been saying, "Have you done this? Have you done that."
I am talking about someone who was recommended to me to have all
that experience. I expected there would be someone at a senior
level, namely the Serjeant and the Clerk, that they should be
consulting with, and I would have expected that. But with hindsight
I was let down there in that expectation. The Speaker should be
surrounded by people who are highly professional and should be
Q133 Sir Alan Beith: Did the same
inhibition apply to consulting Speaker's Counsel or was Speaker's
Counsel already in Ireland at that point?
Lord Martin of Springburn: At
the point that the Serjeant spoke to me?
Q134 Sir Alan Beith: Yes.
Lord Martin of Springburn: Well,
that was another area. In anything legal I would expect Speaker's
Counsel to be consulted because Speaker's Counsel is a man called
Michael Carpenter, who will probably give evidence to you, but
my understanding is that there are at least another four solicitors.
Q135 Sir Alan Beith: I need to get
this clear, Lord Martin. Was it that you assumed that these people
had been consulted?
Lord Martin of Springburn: Yes.
Q136 Sir Alan Beith: Or that you
thought it might not be possible to consult them because of the
nature of the matter?
Lord Martin of Springburn: No,
I had assumed these people had been consulted. There was some
reason why the Serjeant had told me to keep it confidential. Speaker's
Counsel was not in Ireland. My understanding is that at the time
on the Wednesday when the Serjeant spoke to me Speaker's Counsel
was going to a conference in Dublin. He will tell you this himself.
I understand that when the search was underway that Speaker's
Counsel could have been recalled from Heathrow Airport. He had
headed for Dublin because he did not know there was anything wrong.
Q137 Sir Alan Beith: Just to turn
to the other point that you made in the memorandum. It was a shock
to you that SO15 counter-terrorism officers were the people who
were supposed to be concerned with this matter and that led you
to think, as you said in your memorandum, about Islamist or Irish
terrorism although it had been made clear to you that the offence
being considered was conspiring to commit misconduct in public
office. I am assumingtell me if I am wrongthat that
did not deflect you from thinking this must be a terrorism-related
Lord Martin of Springburn: It
was frightening to hear about a terrorism group. Some of you are
lawyers here but I do not know about the offences that are there.
I now understand that it is a catch-all offence, but this was
misconduct in public office and terrorism. Bear this in mind:
I know we are in public here but it was only about two years previous
to that that a study was embarked upon by Downing Street to have
a high court judge investigate the Wilson Doctrine and that high
court judge came to me and said, "I want the Wilson Doctrine
to be lifted in the Palace of Westminster." I said, "You
are not on, I am not doing that," and he said, "Just
you remember that I am telling you as a judge that Members of
Parliament can get into difficulties and can be involved in illegal
organisations," so that was what was put to me two years
ago. In fact, so insistent was he about the Wilson Doctrine, which
is about telephone tapping, I had to involve the Deputy Prime
Minister, John Prescott and say, "John, get this man off
my back. He is not going to do this." These are things that
the House did not know because it was done without the knowledge
of the House. Bear this in mind: there are in the House, correct
me if I am wrong, six Members of Parliament who belong to a partyand
thank God there is peace in Northern Irelandthat approved
of terrorism in its manifesto. They do not come on the floor of
the House because they will not take the Oath.
So when somebody mentions terrorism and a terrorism squad, it
did cause me a great deal of concern.
Q138 Sir Alan Beith: Here we are in a
situation where you did not know who the Member was but a reference
had been made to counter-terrorism. It seems to me there are two
possible reactions to this. One is to say, "If it is as serious
as that, I think I should know more about it." The other
is to feel so inhibited that you felt you ought not at that stage
to enquire further. Was your reaction one or other of those two
Lord Martin of Springburn: My
reaction was that I needed more information. The worry I had alsoand
when you are told things of this serious nature there are all
sorts of things going through your mindis that I always
feel that Speaker should have a pastoral role, if that is the
right word to use. Members of Parliament can have personal problems
and you want to help. I remember a political colleague being arrested
a long time agothank God it does not happen all that oftenand
I remember an older councillor at the time saying the thing I
want to do is to see what I can do to help, meaning to help the
person and their family through the difficulty. The danger you
would have is that you had a live investigation going on and perhaps
rather than helping I would be seen to be hindering what was a
live investigation. I then would have sought more information
as to the person involved.
Q139 Mr Howard: Lord Martin, you
have explained to Sir Alan why on 26 November you did not ask
the Clerk for his advice or ask the Serjeant whether she asked
the Clerk for his advice. One of the reasons you gave was that
on 26 November you were not certain whether there was going to
be an arrest. You were told there might be an arrest.
Lord Martin of Springburn: I was
told there was a live investigation.
1 Five Sinn Féin Members elected to the House
in 2005 (Messrs Adams, Doherty, McGuinness, Murphy and Ms Gildernew)
have not taken their seats. Back