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

60.  Letter to Ms Julie Kirkbride from the Commissioner, 26 January 2010

Thank you for your letter of 21 January responding to the letter which I sent you on 5 November in respect of this complaint about the claims you made against the Additional Costs Allowance for your constituency home.

I was grateful to receive this. In the light of this helpful information, I would be most grateful if you could clarify the following points:

1. I have noted the description of the help which your brother gave you in terms of childcare. You refer to other carers. It would be helpful to know the dates during which your brother (as opposed to other carers) provided the overnight childcare for your son.

2. Could you let me know where your brother has his main residence?

3. Could you give me an estimate of the number of nights a week which your brother spent overnight in your constituency home?

4. Could you let me know whether there is any basis to the suggestions in the press reports that your brother was registered to vote at your Bromsgrove address and that he gave it as his usual residential address to Companies House? If it is true, could you explain why he was registered to vote there and gave that address to Companies House, given the use that you have told me he made of the property?

5. Could you let me know whether your brother spent any time, including any overnight stays, in the Bromsgrove property when you and your son were not there?

6. Could you help me on the arrangements which you and your husband, Mr Andrew Mackay MP, had in staying overnight with your son in your constituency property? You noted that your brother covered childcare on Friday and Saturday. It would be helpful to know whether you or your husband were there with your son other nights of the week and, if so, who covered childcare. I appreciate that these are personal questions, but I do need to have responses to them if I am satisfactorily to resolve this matter. You may also wish to discuss your response to this question with your husband.

7. Could you let me know, as requested in my letter of 5 November, whether you claimed from your ACA for the full mortgage interest on your constituency home? If you did not, what proportion of that interest was represented by your claims?

It would be helpful if you could let me have a response to this letter within the next two weeks. Subject to that response, I would propose to consult the Department of Resources, including asking them for further details about the discussions you report with a member of the then Department of Finance and Administration. I would then show you their response for any comments you may wish to make. It may be that then we should meet for an interview before I resolve this matter.

26 January 2010

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