Public Administration Select Committee: Press Notice

4 March 2010


The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) agreed this morning to hold a one-off evidence session on propriety and peerages. The date and time of the session have yet to be confirmed.

The Chairman has made the following statement to clarify the situation, in the light of public comment made by others earlier today.

Dr Tony Wright MP, Chairman of the Public Administration Select Committee, said:

“At this morning’s meeting, members of the committee from all three main political parties decided to hold a one-off evidence session on propriety and peerages. The session will explore the process through which Michael Ashcroft’s undertaking of 23 March 2000 to take up ‘permanent residence’ in the UK as a condition for his introduction into the House of Lords came to be interpreted in subsequent dialogue with the Government as ‘long-term residence’, with likely consequent tax implications. The session builds on the committee’s work over a number of years on propriety and peerages and the scrutiny of honours. We intend to invite Lord Ashcroft, as well as others who might have been involved in the discussions, to give evidence. We also intend to ask the Cabinet Office to release any records they hold relating to the discussions. The committee has no interest in the party dimension of this matter.”

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Committee Membership: Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgwater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Paul Rowen (Lib Dem) (Rochdale), Charles Walker (Con) (Broxbourne), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

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