Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner
for Standards from Mrs Rita Gresty
I refer to our meeting yesterday, when I stressed
my deep disquiet having received a letter from Ms Maria Fernandes'
solicitor, David Price. The threat of legal action against me
upset me greatly, and I was seriously considering withdrawing
evidence and statements that I have made. You explained that I
was protected by Parliamentary Privilege, and, whilst being very
concerned at the obvious distress this had caused me, I am now
persuaded of the necessity to confirm that my statements are true,
to the best of my knowledge, and that I am willing for them to
be placed on your file, for the record.
Whilst writing, during our meeting you indicated
that Ms Fernandes has stated that I am taking her to an Industrial
Tribunal in relation to the manner of my dismissal from her employment.
I wish to state categorically that this is untrue, and has never
been the case.
As I was seriously ill at the time, I empowered my
husband and Miss Eileen Eggington to handle all matter related
to my former employment by Ms Fernandes, including the collection
of statutory sickness pay due to me, (unpaid for five months)
and I know that Miss Eggington made it clear to Ms Fernandes in
January 2001, that no such action was being contemplated. At that
time, my potential appearance at any Industrial Tribunal was totally
out of the question, as Ms Fernandes was aware.
At the onset of my illness, legal action against
Ms Fernandes was one of the many options that was considered,
but on strong legal and medical advice was not proceeded with,
and she was informed. Had an action for unfair dismissal been
commenced, the legal deadline for such action was February 2001,
and I am disturbed that Ms Fernandes may have given you the impression
that an action had either commenced, or is still outstanding.
It is unthinkable and inconceivable that Ms Fernandes could produce
any evidence confirming that instigation of legal action against
her for unfair dismissal has ever started and is ongoing, and
I trust that she will withdraw such an allegation (if she has
made it) as a matter of urgency.
13 November 2001