Select Committee on Standards and Privileges First Report


Further letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr D R Drew


Many thanks for your letter of 1 November.

My original approach was of a general nature but I see that you head your letter with Mr Frank Roy's name. There have been allegations in the press about him, of course, but I contend that his own admissions on Radio 4 constitute sufficient evidence of his involvement in the current matter, and on that basis I am prompted to nominate him for you to investigate further.

As I understood his Radio 4 contribution, Mr Roy not only admitted having placed a bet, he strongly defended his action as being of a very ordinary nature. Moreover, he actually endeavoured to claim some astonishment that anyone should think badly of the practice.

I suggest that such activity is so patently inappropriate, unethical and beneath the perceived dignity of the House that it is impossible to see how any Member can contend otherwise; except by a strained pretence. Such actions unnecessarily reinforce the unfortunate impression which we outside gain of Members' attitudes of self-interest deriving from a favoured position.

I suggest that the issue is whether Members ought to bet at all on Parliamentary matters; and not just whether any winnings ought to be declared.

I trust this is helpful.

I have written to the Chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee on the generality of the matter.

2 November 2000

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