Mr Andrew Mackay and Ms Julie Kirkbride - Standards and Privileges Committee Contents

32.  Letter to Rt Hon Andrew Mackay from the Commissioner, 23 June 2010

When I wrote to you on 10 June, I said that in the light of what you had said at our interview on 9 June, I was writing to the official who was head of the Fees Office in 1997 to check with him your recollection of your discussion with him in September 1997.

I enclose a copy of my letter of 10 June to the then Head of the Fees Office (who as you know retired in 1998) and a copy of his signed response of 18 June.

As you will see, his recollection of the advice he gave you and Ms Kirkbride does not concur with your evidence to me, as it was set out in my letter of the then head of the Fees Office of 10 June.

The witness has said that he could not have advised you to claim ACA for your London home because, at that stage, he believed you had not yet set up your home in Bromsgrove. And he says that he "cannot imagine" you and your wife would have had different main homes.

I would welcome your comments on this conflicting evidence. It would be helpful also to know when you started to live in your Bromsgrove property and whether, as the then Head of the Fees Office suggests, that was not until 1998.

Finally, you will see the reference in his evidence to a telephone call in early May 2009 in which the then Head of the Fees Office says you asked him to provide "authority (retrospectively)" to a statement that he had advised you on your parliamentary allowances and that you had agreed with all his actions having been within the rules. The then Head of the Fees Office says that he advised you that he was unable to do this. I would be grateful if you could let me have your recollection of the conversation. Could you also confirm the date when it took place? And could you let me know why you have not previously mentioned this telephone call and the response of the then Head of the Fees Office which would appear to be relevant to your evidence that you and your wife acted solely on the recommendations of that official?

If you could let me have a response to this letter within the next two weeks, I would be most grateful. I may need then to consult further the then Head of the Fees Office. Thank you for your continued help with this.

22 June 2010

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