Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 39

Letter to Mr John Maxton MP from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

Thank you for your letter of 23 February 2000. I am glad to hear I shall receive your response early this week.

As you will be aware, it is my responsibility to be satisfied that sufficient evidence has been tendered in support of a complaint to justify taking the matter further. Where this is so I am required to ask the Member to respond. This is the stage I have reached in this matter.

As I have said previously, when I decide to make such a request to a Member it should not be taken to imply that I have taken a view on the validity of any evidence, only that there is sufficient for me to ask the Member for a response.

I share your concern that four weeks have now passed and hope to receive your letter shortly so that I may deal with this matter. Once I have your response and I have considered it I shall be able to proceed. At any point during an enquiry I may decide to dismiss it, but in this case it could not now be prior to my receiving your response.

I have had the number of contacts with the complainant to establish his account of events and, once again, I assure you that if I receive evidence which supports the complaint you will have every opportunity to consider or challenge it in due course.

I look forward to hearing from you.

28 February 2000

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