Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 47

File note by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

Mr John Maxton
Telephone conversation with Elizabeth Filkin, 22 March 2000

8am 22 March 2000 my pager went off asking me to ring John Maxton immediately. He asked my if I had seen The Herald this morning, to which I replied no, he said there`s a story on the front page of The Herald that says you are now conducting a full inquiry. I said I had been conducting a full inquiry as he knew since January. He said the story had obviously come from my office. I said it may well have done I had been informed by my office that The Herald had contacted them and that they had given them the information that the investigation was continuing as they would normally do with any journalist`s inquiry where the matter was in the public domain. He implied that I had contacted The Herald after his conversation with me and I expressed myself crossly to inform him that what he was implying was quite inaccurate, that my pa had given information to The Herald but not until after I had seen him as far as I was aware, and certainly she knew nothing of the content of our conversation and certainly I had not been in contact with The Herald. He said what was I going to do to put it right. I said as far as I knew there was nothing to put right and so he said he would contact The Herald and tell them that the nature of the inquiry had not changed since January. I said he could do that but what he should say was that I had been conducting a full inquiry into these matters since January—if he wished and that I would gladly confirm that to The Herald if they wanted to contact me.

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