Letter: Lost in sleaze

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The Independent Online
The rules of declaration of MP's interests require an MP for a particular constituency to declare in the register if 25 per cent or over of the election fighting fund was contributed by one individual or company ("Now it's the voters turn to judge them", 23 March). Such funds are on average about pounds 8,000 in total.

I have made it quite clear to Sir Gordon Downey that if the Hammersmith Conservative As- sociation received a pounds 500 donation in 1987 - ten years ago - that was a matter for them. I did not know about it at the time. All parties receive funds at elections and if Mr Greer wanted to make a donation, that is a matter for him. Furthermore pounds 500 is well under the 25 per cent threshold and would not have qualified for declaration.

I was not elected for Hammersmith in 1987. I was subsequently elected for a different constituency, Brentford and Isleworth, five years later. At no time have my present constituency association or I received any donation from Mr Greer.

All this innuendo and so-called "sleaze" boils down to the possibility that ten years ago, five years before I was even an MP, someone made a donation to my then constituency party that I did not know about but which in any case was perfectly legal and legitimate and would not have required declaration even if I had become the MP. No wonder the public are confused by all this. I certainly am.

Nirj Joseph Deva MP

House of Commons