European Scrutiny CommitteeLetter from the Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee to Lord Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust (ESI 30)

I write in response to your letter of 23 October, in which you declined for the second time this Committee’s invitation to give oral evidence. We observe that you have recently appeared before the Commons Public Accounts Committee (on 9 September) and the Culture, Media and Sport Committee (on 22 October).

We are planning to conclude our scrutiny inquiry shortly, and it is likely that our Report will make reference to your refusal to give oral evidence. In the meantime we are unwilling to let the matter rest, and the Committee today unanimously agreed the following resolution:

That, in the opinion of the Committee, Lord Patten of Barnes, in his capacity as Chairman of the BBC Trust, ought to appear before the Committee to give oral evidence on Wednesday 27 November at 2.30pm.

We note that as a Member of the House of Lords you have leave to appear before Committees of the House of Commons under Lords Standing Order No. 24. Your public functions under Royal Charter are entirely distinct from your parliamentary responsibilities as a Member of the House of Lords. We therefore believe there is no reason for you not to appear before us. You are welcome to bring other witnesses to appear alongside you.

Should you decide to ignore this Committee resolution, we intend to publish a Special Report setting out the circumstances of your refusal to give oral evidence.

6 November 2013

Prepared 28th November 2013