Letter to Ms Eileen Eggington QPM from
the Chairman of the Committee on Standards and Privileges
The Parliamentary Commissioner has shown me a copy
of your statement of 8 November about the communications you had
received from David Price Solicitors & Advocates.
I was disturbed to learn that you felt threatened
as a result of what has happened. I can assure you that the House
regards any evidence given to the Commissioner for the purposes
of her inquiries into complaints against Members of Parliament
as proceedings in Parliament which are fully protected by parliamentary
privilege. Any attempt to put pressure on a witness in connection
with evidence would be a contempt of the House. I have no doubt
that the Committee would act if any action were taken against
a witness as a result of evidence given to the Commissioner.
I should nonetheless make it clear that parliamentary
privilege does not cover material which has already found its
way into the press, or any civil disputes which may arise as a
I hope that with this reassurance you will feel able
to continue to assist the Commissioner with her inquiries.
12 November 2001