Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 131

File note by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards


  I telephoned Mr Kapasi to thank him for writing to me but to say I had hard evidence of him saying something quite different in other circumstances. He said he stood by his letter but then asked me in detail about the procedure which I described. I explained to him that if I had to report to the Committee relying on his evidence or that of others which was in contradiction with his evidence I would probably have to put his evidence to the Committee and it was likely that his evidence would be published. I therefore wanted to give him the opportunity of reflecting on the contents of his letter before I did that.

  We discussed the fact that he might be embarrassed but that obviously his primary duty was to Parliament. He said he would think about it and decide whether or not he wanted to give me another letter or whether he wanted it to stand as it was. He asked me who would find his expenses and I said the Committee would pay for his fare to come to London if they decided they wanted to see him. I said I was trying to ensure that he didn't have to see me or the Committee because obviously if his evidence was not in conflict with that of others that would not be necessary. However, what I was most concerned about was that he gave me a truthful account whatever it was, and if it was in conflict with other witnesses, so be it. I made it clear that I was inviting him to rethink the matter but that if he decided that the letter that he already sent should stand, I would accept his decision. We agreed that he would either write me another letter, in which case I would return the one of 21 March to him or that he would telephone me to say that he stood by the letter that he had sent me.

24 March 2000

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