Letter to Mr Paul Double, Assistant Remembrancer, Corporation of London,
from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
I am looking into a complaint by Mr John McDonnell MP about the actions of Peter Brooke (a former Member of the House of Commons, now Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville) at a meeting on 24 October 2000 at which I understand you were present. The essence of Mr McDonnell's complaint is that at that meeting, which concerned the City of London (Ward Elections) Bill, Lord Brooke attempted to induce Mr McDonnell to drop his opposition to the Bill by offering to use his position as Chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee to secure Mr McDonnell a place on that Committee. I have, of course, been in touch with Lord Brooke about the complaint, which he disputes.
I should welcome an opportunity to gain your own recollection of the nature and content of the meeting. In particular I am interested in knowing:
(1) What you understood to be the purpose of the meeting?
(2) Whether you recall Lord Brooke raising the issue of Mr McDonnell's membership of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee?
(3) If so, in what terms you recall its being raised?
(4) What do you recall of Mr McDonnell's response?
Would you be willing either to meet me or to talk to me over the telephone about this matter? My PA can make the necessary arrangements. Alternatively, or in addition, I should be happy to receive your written account of the meeting.
I should add that any information you are able to give me may feature in my report to the Standards and Privileges Committee, which may be published. I am, however, ready to discuss with you the handling of any information you are able to give.
If you would like a word about this approach, please do not hesitate to telephone me on the number above.
I look forward to hearing from you.
5 June 2002