Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Eighth Report


Annex Fix

File Note by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

NOTE OF TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITH MR ARCHY KIRKWOOD MP

14:00, 7 MARCH 2002

In response to a telephone call to my office, I rang Mr Kirkwood to discuss the nature of the material which he needed to supply in response to the letter sent to him by Elizabeth Filkin following up his meeting with Elizabeth last month. Mr Kirkwood said that a response to the eighteen questions was well advanced but he had become confused about how much detail he needed to go into in responding to the questions. If he dealt with Ian Bruce's complaints on a line by line basis, he was likely to take a great deal of time in doing so and to overwhelm me with the resulting quantity of paper. How detailed did he need to be?

I advised Mr Kirkwood that he should go into such detail as he felt was reasonably possible and appropriate. In that context, the existence of the seven year rule suggested to me that it would make sense for him to concentrate particularly on events which had occurred within the last seven years and the complaints relating thereto, although he should not exclude comment on matters before that point.

If Mr Kirkwood proceeded on this basis, I would once I had had an opportunity to have a look at his response, seek to discuss with him any outstanding issues. In this way we might aim to complete the process of enquiry reasonably expeditiously.

I mentioned that I would be abroad from 14-25 March. In these circumstances, Mr Kirkwood said that he would aim to get his response to Elizabeth's questions to me on Monday, 11 March.

Mr Kirkwood added that once the complaint brought against him by Ian Bruce had been resolved, he would welcome the opportunity of a meeting with me at which we could go through his Trust activities, which he did not want to give up and which he certainly wanted to conduct in a proper manner. I said that I would be happy to talk to him about those matters once the immediate complaints were resolved.

7 March 2002

PM





 
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