Letter: Norman Lamont's legal expenses

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Sir: The question of the propriety of the meeting of Norman Lamont's legal expenses out of public funds may be a matter of degree and precedent, but in view of his position as Chancellor it is surely vital that it be confirmed that the payment was properly returned and assessed for taxation purposes.

On the facts as stated by the Treasury, there is no doubt that the payment was taxable (under section 153 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988), and there can be no basis for a balancing expense claim, as for such a claim to succeed the expense must have been necessarily incurred in performing ministerial duties, not merely as a result of his holding ministerial office.

It is profoundly to be hoped that there will be no attempt to shelter behind confidentiality claims in a matter of such direct relevance to the role of the


Yours sincerely,




30 November