Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Seventh Report

Annex II

Letter to Mr Geoffrey Robinson MP

from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards


Thank you for your letter of 23 March 2001 and for speedily providing me with documents relating to the complaints raised and your explanation of these events. I would be grateful to receive any further comments you wish to make on Mr Heatcoat-Amory's allegations, particularly concerning the possibility of misleading information having been given to my predecessor and the Standards and Privileges Committee.

I have today received a further letter from Mr Heathcoat-Amory in which he provides further details to support his complaint (copy attached). I would also be grateful for your comments on his second letter.

Please would you also let me have information about the following:

1)    Your recollection of the breakfast meeting with Mr T Bower at the Grosvenor House Hotel in December 2000 including what was said by yourself and Mr Bower. Do you have any explanation for the impression Mr Bower appears to have gained that you had admitted personally to receiving the payment?

2)    Your recollection of all the conversations you had with MrAldous. Please provide all the correspondence you or your advisers had with the Department of Trade and Industry enquiry. Please would you make clear whether during his enquiry, Mr Aldous provided you with new information and, if so, what it was. I understand that you will have seen a draft copy of the relevant passages of the Department of Trade and Industry report. Please supply me with a copy or if you do not now hold one, your recollections of its contents.

3)    Details you have obtained of the Pergamon AGB's computer cash book record of £200,000 having allegedly been paid to G. Robinson / Orchards.

4)    Details of your conversations with Mr Stoney about this alleged payment between 14 July 1998 and today.

5)    Did Mr Maxwell tell you in December 1990 that you would be paid £200,000?

6)    Did you phone Shirley Caddock (Mr Stoney's secretary) asking for the £200,000 to be paid in to an account other than Trans Tec? If so, what account did you specify? How do you account for the note in Mrs Caddock's handwriting on the copy invoice indicating that you had asked for the cheque to be paid to you personally?

7)    Do you have, or have you ever had, an account which related in any way to your home Orchards?

8)    Did you make any agreement with anyone about the Department of Trade and Industry enquiry report which restricted you in any way from including any matters in your memoirs?

9)    In 1990, did you ask either Mr Maxwell senior or Mr Kevin Maxwell for the payment to be paid? If so, please give details.

10)  In his letter of 26 March 2001 Mr Heathcoat-Amory lists other companies, other accounts and connected trusts into which the alleged cheque might have been paid. Please would you let me know whether the cheque in question was paid into any such account?

11)  I would also be grateful for your response to Mr Heathcoat-Amory's further point on the tax and NIC's implications of the invoice submitted.

We have already arranged to meet on Friday, 30th March at 10 a.m. and I hope that the meeting will allow us to tie up any loose ends. However, you may prefer to move matters on by replying to this letter in writing and that would be most helpful. I would be grateful if you would leave the Friday meeting in your diary so that we can hold the meeting if there are matters which require further discussion.

Thank you for your assistance with these matters.

26 March 2001

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