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

46.  E-mail to the Commissioner from Rt Hon Andrew Mackay, 13 August 2010

Thank you for your e-mail which I have received whilst on family holiday .... whilst I do not have my files to hand, I think to avoid delay, it would be best to respond now to certain inconsistencies and inaccuracies in [the] long response [from the former Head of the Fees Office] to you notwithstanding I am sure you are right to say "I suspect that we are now at the point where the evidence .... has been fully explored."

I feel certain I did not imply in my previous reply to you that [the Bromsgrove property] was main home for both of us. As previously mentioned it was never set out that married couples should always have the same main home hence the rule changes voted through in May 2009.

[The former Head of the Fees Office] makes much of his auditing experience so it is surprising that under his watch during the full first year of our claims he raised no queries. I can only assume that is because he had put a note on file, as he indicated in his May 2009 telephone conversation with me, which his staff worked from. It is worth recalling that year and subsequently our second homes were on each claim form and separately we would have signed a form designating our main and second homes. This of course is the transparency referred to by the Director of Strategic Projects. [The former Head of the Fees Office] suggests his staff might not have been aware we were married. Surely this is inconceivable bearing in mind the nature of the "Westminster village" and considerable publicity when we married. [My son] and Julie were assaulted during a break-in at our London home. I note [the former Head of the Fees Office] confirms that he gave MPs advice by interview and telephone. Sadly for me it was only after his retirement that such business was also confirmed by both sides in writing.

Finally I repeat I am absolutely clear what advice [the former head of the Fees Office] gave me in September 1997 and would confirm this under oath. That is why when these issues were first raised with me I immediately contacted him to confirm that advice.

You mention me not responding to one final point from your 3 August letter. I thought I had responded to everything but as I cannot see that letter here in [address] perhaps you can send me this point so I can deal with it.

13 August 2010

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