Letter: Minister and shares

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Sir: Let me share with your readers information I've given John Redwood (letter, 14 October).

My father was killed in a mountaineering accident in 1994. His body was not found for two years. His estate was not released to the executors until this year. It was split between me and my mentally handicapped sister, who has three trustees. Since I am one of her trustees I declared the shareholdings in full on becoming a minister, even though the shares had yet not been released to the trustees.

The shares have never been in my name, and the share certificates are held by another trustee - a non-family member who is the director of an organisation dedicated to helping people with learning disabilities. The value of the shareholding is small - the P&O shares Mr Redwood mentions are worth around pounds 500.

As to ministers ruling themselves out of inquiries, there is no shortage of examples; John Redwood and British Airways for one.

I would not wish the tragedy which has befallen my family on my worst enemy - not even on John Redwood.


House of Commons

The writer is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Competition and Consumer Affairs