Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fifth Report

Annex iv8

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Keith Vaz MP


7. Thank you for your letter of 6th July 2001 which I received today 9th July 2001. I am most grateful to you for the further information you have given me. So that I can give you a complete picture to enable you to report to the Committee I would be grateful if you could let me know the following in relation to the matters you have raised so far.

8. In relation to Rita Gresty the first letter to you from Mrs Eggington appears to the 23rd March 2001 it makes no reference to Rita Gresty's mental illness, her hospitalization nor the industrial tribunal proceedings is there some other document that refers to this? You will understand why I am reluctant to deal with accusations by someone who (on the admission of Mrs Eggington) may not be fully well.

9.  In relation to the material forwarded by the BBC and the Telegraph this appears to be a collection of office copy entries and electoral registration extracts, many of which appear to relate to other people, the majority of which I do not know anything about. It will take me several weeks to write to individuals, electoral registration officers and others to get a completely accurate picture for you as there appear to be so many inaccuracies.

10. Could you possibly forward to me the covering letters from the BBC and the Telegraph which will help me crystalise what exactly is required. I assume that these were not just sent as a bundle but that there was some kind of reason why this particular material was provided.

11. In relation to Mr Peane's as he has made a complaint about my handling of his case it would be inappropriate for me to write to him I wonder whether you could write to him and seek his permission for me to forward his file to you, you may of course tell him that I have given you my consent.

12. Finally you asked Keith Bennett last week what timetable I had in mind. Both you and I are anxious to deal with this matter promptly. However I am also anxious that I answer all the points as fully as I can so that there is no scope for any subsequent accusations that information has not been provided but I am dependent on letters being sent back to me.

13. The difficult is that the complaints raised go back a number of years.

    Mr Lansley's complaint—6 years
    Mr Rowbotham's complaints—14 years and 8 years respectively
    Mr Peane's complaint—2 years
    The BBC information—16 years and onwards
    The Telegraph information—5 years.

14. I am sure that you will appreciate that I shall need to track down the information. You have indicated to Keith that you intend to report to the Committee in October. You were concerned to ensure that you had staff available over the recess. I plan to go abroad next Monday and provided I have all the information that is relevant I plan to deal with the matters you raise in one submission when I return, and before I have my operation. What I do not want to do is to give you bits of information with an incomplete picture. It would be helpful for me to know when you plan to be away so that I can adjust the timetable accordingly.

I hope you have a good break.

9 July 2001

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