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LETTERS : `Private meeting' in the Commons

Sir: On behalf of the Secretaries' and Assistants' Council, to which reference is made in your frontpage article "Secretaries expose MPs' abuse of office privileges" (30 January), I should be glad if you would correct the following inaccuracies.

The "private annual meeting" to which you refer was held in November, and was open to all the members and various officials. The membership is counted in hundreds, and the executive numbers 11.

The issue of "private work" was among several matters raised. It has not yet been officially taken up with the Commons authorities.

The council does not comment to the press.

Yours sincerely, J. RAYMOND Chairman Secretaries' and Assistants' Council House of Commons London, SW1

31 January