Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 21

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from the Rt Hon Dr John Reid MP

Thank you for your letter of the 13th June.

I note that you say that you may conclude there is no case to answer at any point. I was inviting you so to conclude now in my letter of 6th June.

The point I was trying to make was that Mr Nelson`s complaint does not have evidential support. Despite Mr Nelson saying that he had tapes of "many senior Labour officials and politicians" making allegations against me, you concluded that Mr Nelson`s informant was in fact Mr McKinney. Mr McKinney`s words in the transcript and in his interview with you do not appear to support Mr Nelson`s complaint. Mr McKinney alone is of course not "many senior Labour officials and politicians". I would invite you to conclude that if Mr Nelson has only one informant then his reference to his many informants was false. He would accordingly be unreliable as a complainant against me and the complaint should be dismissed.

If on the other hand you are saying that you have heard tape recordings of Messrs. Rafferty, Rowley and Sullivan making allegations against me it is important for me to know what my accusers have said about me and if they have consistently made allegations against me. Will you confirm this position? As you invite my views on the credibility of Messrs. Rafferty, Rowley and Sullivan at Question 29 you will understand my need to know. Perhaps you have notes of what they said on the tapes which you will permit me to have.

Again on the assumption that you will not conclude now that there is no case to answer further points arise from your letter of the 13 June. At Paragraph 5(1) you refer to a telephone conversation with Mr Rafferty on 6 April. I do not have any material relative to such a conversation. Would you let me have a transcript? Item (ii) b) of your letter of 19 May refers to 3 transcripts. I have transcripts for 1 and 24 March and Note of 18 April, but no transcript for 6th April.

At paragraph 5(vi) you refer to "evidence quoted from Mr Rowley, Mr Rafferty and Mr Sullivan" relating to Ms Hilliard. Would you please let me have the references?

Finally you invite me to offer challenges to interpretations being placed on references. I am somewhat hampered in doing this so far as I do not know what would have been said by other persons who may have provided evidence. For example where Mr Rowley`s views about Kevin`s capacity to work for me may have been contradicted by his co-workers or managers this would be helpful in demonstrating possible misinterpretation being placed on references. These persons` statements may themselves have been misinterpreted. I appear to be being denied sight of the full picture. As I take it you have now concluded your investigation of all other persons would you not agree I should be permitted to know the totality of what is said about me by other persons, some of whose identities are unknown to me? Otherwise it is difficult to see how I can make a full response.

I would stress I am not trying to be difficult. This complaint is a matter of considerable seriousness to me. As I understand it your reports are normally published. I am concerned to make the fullest response to the complaint in order that no possibility of misunderstanding or misinterpretation may arise in such a report if you wish to continue with the complaint.

15 June 2000

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2000
Prepared 22 December 2000