Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter to Mr Geoffrey Bindman

from the Chairman of the Committee on Standards and Privileges

Thank you for your letter of 13 December, which the Committee will have before it when it meets tomorrow.

I shall look forward to receiving Mr Vaz's responses which I—and no doubt my colleagues on the Committee—will read with great care. If the Commissioner believes it is appropriate to make changes or corrections to her report in the light of these responses I am sure she will do so.

If there is material in the Commissioner's report or the annexes which Mr Vaz believes should not be published, I would be grateful if you could let the Clerk know precisely what that is so that the Committee can consider it at the appropriate time. (To set the record straight, I should mention that your request on Mr Vaz's behalf for certain passages of the Commissioner's earlier report to be omitted was not ignored by the last Committee; I understand that the Committee considered the request and decided not to accede to it.)

I can assure you that the Committee is aware that there is a need for confidentiality in its handling of this case, as there is in every case which comes before it.

Finally, you raised the position of Mr Bottomley and Mr Ottaway, who have signed an early day motion relating to the Commissioner. To my knowledge neither of them has made any allegation linking Mr Vaz to a "whispering campaign" against the Commissioner, and I see no reason at all why either Member should stand aside from this case.

17 December 2001

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