Labour MP says whip blocked inquiry
Monday 18 November 1996
There was increasing speculation among MPs last week that the trail of the alleged cover-up could reach beyond the Whips' Office, to the Cabinet Office and even No 10.
During the questioning of former whip David Willetts last Tuesday, Labour MP Dale Campbell-Savours mentioned that there had been a 1994 meeting between Chief Whip Richard Ryder, Michael Heseltine and John Major about Mr Hamilton, the former Tory minister alleged to have accepted cash for questions from Mohamed al-Fayed, the owner of Harrods.
It was alleged last week that Andrew Mitchell, a government whip, used his privileged position on the former Members' Interests Committee to provide inside information on the Hamilton case to Mr Ryder.
But Angela Eagle, a Labour member of the former Members' Interests Committee, which was supposed to carry out the initial investigation into the into complaints laid against Mr Hamilton, went even further in a weekend interview.
Ms Eagle is now certain to be asked to give evidence on what happened in the committee. She told Channel 4's A Week in Politics that Mr Mitchell had been the primary advocate of not pursuing allegations "which involved Harrods vouchers and alleged envelopes full of cash". "We could make no progress," she said. "We were not allowed to look at the evidence. We were prevented from hearing witnesses ... I felt at the time ... that the whip was the main instigator of these blocking manoeuvres."
A separate investigation is being carried out by Sir Gordon Downey, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, into the allegations about Mr Hamilton opened up following the collapse of his libel action against The Guardian.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 2 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 3 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 4 World Cup 2014: Robin van Persie appears to give his bronze medal to eccentric Netherlands fan moments after being handed it by Sepp Blatter
- 5 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Death in the Valley of the Dolls: Heroin overdose turns the spotlight on prostitution boom in California's tech industry
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Woman, 61, jailed for seven years after drink-drive death of cyclist
Gaza-Israel conflict: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to streets of London, Paris and New York in wave of protests
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Payment Dev...
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...