Sir: I have read with interest your editorial (4 July) dealing with the report of the Committee on Standards and Privileges on "cash for questions".
It will be recalled that the original allegation, causing Ian Greer to sue for libel, was to the effect that certain MPs (notably Ian Hamilton and Tim Smith) had been paid cash for asking questions in the House of Commons. The cash was said to have been paid by Ian Greer, acting as a conduit for money from Mohamed Al Fayed.
The report states, in the case of both MPs: "There is no evidence to indicate that [the MP] received cash from Mr Al Fayed indirectly through Mr Ian Greer." Mr Greer, always maintained that he did not pay cash for questions and was backed by the Board of Ian Greer Associates (of which I was a non-executive director from 1991 to 1996). We believed his denial and the report vindicates him.
He has always agreed that some years ago he did pay commission on business referred to him by certain MPs. There was nothing illegal about this, and it was for MPs to declare such payments, not the responsibility of Mr Greer.
I hope that the media will now give some prominence to the fact that the report clears him of the "cash for questions" allegation. I hope so - but I doubt it.
(Baroness Turner of Camden)
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