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

75.  Letter to Ms Julie Kirkbride from the Commissioner, 29 March 2010

I last wrote to you on 15 March about this complaint in respect of certain aspects of your ACA claims for your constituency home. I said then that I was seeking the advice of the Department of Resources.

I have now heard back from the Department. I attach a copy of my letter to them of 15 March, and their response of 25 March.

As you will see, the Department analyses Departmental policy in respect of the use of a parliamentary-funded home by others, and in respect of the mortgage interest you claimed on your additional mortgage to fund the extension of the property.

I would welcome any comments you may wish to make on the Department's letter, and enclosure.

I have also heard back from your brother on the further follow-up point I put to him on 15 March about his pattern of use of your constituency home in relation to his work to support you and your staff on IT matters. I enclose a further copy of my letter to him, and a copy of his response of 26 March.

As you will see, your brother has responded by saying that he would characterise his time in your constituency property as "occasional". I would welcome any comments you may wish to make on your brother's further letter.

I need now to consider how best to proceed. While I have considered this complaint separately from that of the complaint against your husband, the Rt Hon Andrew Mackay MP, I think I have reached the point where I have to recognise that there is a relationship between your arrangements and his. This was recognised, I think, in the findings of Sir Paul Kennedy on your appeals. In particular, if I were to find that your constituency home was also your husband's main home, then I would need to address the question of whether it was within the rules, including the spirit of the rules, that parliamentary resources should have been used, in effect, for an extension to his main home.

I regret, therefore, that, subject to any points you may wish to put to me, I will need to resolve these complaints in tandem and at the same time. I have not reached the point of resolution in respect of the complaint against Mr Mackay, but I will let you know as soon as that point is reached.

29 March 2010

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