Letter to the Rt Hon Dr John Reid MP from
the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
Thank you for your letter of 20 June. I am afraid
I must now say that I am increasingly reluctant to be drawn into
further protracted correspondence about detailed matters of procedure
and individual witnesses` evidence which seem to me to be going
over the same ground. Rather than responding point by point to
your letter, therefore, may I instead simply repeat the key points,
(i) You have received
from me all the evidence put to me by others which may be at variance
with your own account and to which I need your response before
I can complete my investigation (I have promised to let you see
any further evidence of this nature which I may receive).
(ii) Mr Nelson`s complaint formed the basis for
my investigation: that has not changed.
(iii) I have not reached my conclusions as to
the relevance, importance or credibility of any evidence which
may appear to be at variance with your account and I will not
do so until I have received your responses to my written questions.
No inferences on this point can be drawn from the number of times
I saw or spoke to a particular witness: usually a single conversation
was sufficient for me to obtain the full facts but in other cases
subsequent clarification or additional information was needed.
(iv) I shall provide you with a copy of my draft
report so that you will have a further opportunity to challenge
any of the material or my analysis before I come to any conclusions
on these allegations. I will only then present my report to the
Committee and will include any response you wish to make in the
light of my draft.
I do hope this is helpful and that you will let me
have your answers to my question as soon as possible. If you would
prefer to answer them in person and discuss these matters with
me, I would be glad to see you.
22 June 2000