Memorandum submitted by Dr John Reid MP
I have been subject to an investigation by Ms Filkin
for almost 10 months. This investigation has proceeded on the
basis of a complaint by a journalist who has previously and repeatedly
tried unsuccessfully to attack the reputation of my son.
The complaint is baseless. It could have been answered
effectively and expeditiously by answering by answering four simple
1. Were my employees prohibited by House of Commons
regulations from engaging in other employment, paid or voluntary,
political or non-political in addition to their work for me? The
answer to this is clearly no, as the Fees Office would have confirmed
if asked (and indeed have now confirmed to mesee Annex
2. If not prohibited by regulation, were my employees
precluded from carrying out their duties to me by the time spent
on their other employment? The answer to this is also clearly
no, as any preliminary inquiry would have shown, and as the evidence
3. Is there any evidenceindeed even anyone
who assertsthat my employees did not work for me? Despite
almost ten months of the investigation the answer is revealed
as clearly no.
4. Is there on the other hand evidence that my
employees did in fact discharge their duties to me? The
answer to this is clearly yes, as the material provided, the evidence,
the statements of my researchers and myself all prove.
Over the last ten months Ms Filkin`s investigation
lost sight of these simple questions. For those 10 months I have
tried to co-operate with Ms Filkin and restrain myself on the
basis that she had a job to do and that as I had nothing to fear
I would be vindicated at the end of her investigation.
Despite the considerable efforts I have made to assist
and analyse the material and questions provided to me by Ms Filkin
I am astonished by the terms of her draft report. I am not guilty
of the complaint. During her investigation I made many requests
for information and guidance. These were repeatedly ignored or
denied. Facts within her knowledge and materials within her possession
which were germane to my understanding of the case against me
have not been revealed. Her report does not demonstrate any proof
whatsoever that supports the essential facts of the complaint,
viz that my researchers were paid by me but with the purpose
of having them work not for me but for the Labour Party.
My concern that I have not been fairly treated by
Ms Filkin caused me to instruct a leading Queens Counsel, James
Goudie QC, to consider the approach and reasoning of Ms Filkin
throughout the investigation. Mr Goudie QC concluded that no case
against me is demonstrated on the balance of probabilities. Further
her concluded that Ms Filkin`s report is "the shoddy outcome
of a mishandled investigation". I enclose a copy of Mr Goudie`s
I also asked the firm of Chartered Accountants, Atkinson
Donnelly, to examine the treatment of certain documents provided
to Ms Filkin and said by her to suggest substance to the complaint.
Their conclusion, shared incidentally by the House of Commons
Director of Finance and Administration, is that the documents
do not point towards my guilt but rather to my innocence. I enclose
a copy of Atkinson Donnelly`s views.
Ms Filkin`s report is full of errors, misplaced speculations
and real unfairness towards me.
I have provided a statement of why it is I am innocent
of the complaint, materials covering points that have not been
pursued by Ms Filkin and observations of where Ms Filkin has departed
from an objective assessment of my case.
Plainly it is for the Committee to make up its own
mind about the complaint. However if the Committee decides, as
I urge it to do, to dismiss the complaint an issue of considerable
importance to me remains.
Commissioner`s reports are normally published. If
the distortions and inaccuracies of Ms Filkin`s report are published,
it is plain that my reputation will suffer unfairly. If you are
minded to dismiss the complaint I request that this flawed and
unfair report not be published.
16 October 2000