Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner
from Mr Nigel Griffiths MP
[Handwritten note by Mr Nigel Griffiths: "Draft
onlyawaiting more information from Fees Office"]
Thank you for forwarding a copy of the complaint
by Jacqui Lait MP. This is the first notification I have had.
I became aware of these allegations through the Scotsman newspaper
which published a story last Wednesday remarking that I had used
my Constituency Office during the election without the permission
of the Fees Office or paying for any associated costs. I knew
the financial aspect of the complaint was false because in almost
every year since I was elected, I have contributed several thousands
of pounds to the costs of running my office.
I immediately contacted Mr Archie Cameron in the
Fees Office to ascertain the facts, and I attach the statement
I agreed with Mr Cameron confirming that over half my non-staff
costs last year were met by me, and not by Parliament.
Allegation 1: Use of Constituency Office without
informing the Fees Office. I accept this and have apologized.
Allegation 2: Failing to reimburse the Fees
Office for any 'political' use of the Constituency office. I reject
this as untrue, and submit both the statement I agreed with Mr
Cameron on Wednesday and the summary of the OCA balance for 2000/01
which Mr Cameron supplied me with.
For your information, the amounts I have contributed
to the OCA are as follows:
I regret that at no stage has Ms Lait had the courtesy
to alert me to her complaint, since I would have been pleased
to have the Fees Office provide her with this information.
I hope that you are able to reach a conclusion by
verifying this information with the Fees Office today and confirm
that you will not need to investigate this further. If you require
any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
5 November 2001