The Cash-for-Questions Affair: MPs hid cash link with lobbyist

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The Independent Online
TWO other MPs were working for Ian Greer without declaring it in the Commons register of members' interests. According to testimony given by the lobbyist in 1990, he made six payments to three MPs from 1985 to 1990, but only one entered details. His office said the remaining two were not Tim Smith or Neil Hamilton.

In a letter to the Select Committee on Members' Interests, Mr Greer gave details of the years in which payments were made but he refused to identify the MPs or say how much was given. The fees were for introducing clients to Ian Greer Associates and represented commission, an IGA spokeswoman said yesterday. They were not for asking questions in the House.

In his evidence in 1990, Mr Greer identified the MPs as A, B and C. A received payments in 1985, 1986 and 1990, B was paid in 1986, and C in 1988.

Mr Greer told the committee he later checked the register and only one MP had entered what he called 'thank you' payments.

Only Sir Michael Grylls, chairman of the Tory trade and industry committee, has declared an interest in Ian Greer Associates. He ended his association 10 months ago. He told the Independent: 'In a 24-year relationship with the company, I was never asked to table a question for money and I would have given them short shrift if I had been.'

Dale Campbell-Savours, a member of the committee that questioned Mr Greer, said: 'I pressed hard for him to tell us who the MPs were, but he refused.

In the light of what has happened, they should come forward now.'