The email sent by Andrew Bridgen, the then Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, on 20 September 2023.
Dear Ms Stone
Strictly Private and Confidential
Further to the letter I have sent to you concerning your investigation into representation made on behalf of the Curious Guys and Mere Plantations, I am writing to you about a number of comments which have been made to me about your ongoing role as Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.
I have learnt only too well during my time in Westminster that this place has always been one of gossip in corridors and tearooms. I was distressed to hear on a number of occasions an unsubstantiated rumour that your contract as Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is due to end in the coming months and that there are advanced plans to offer you a peerage, potentially as soon as the Prime Minister’s resignation honours list. There is also some suggestion amongst colleagues that those plans are dependent upon arriving at the ‘right’ outcomes when conducting parliamentary standards investigations.
Clearly my own travails with Number 10 and the former PM have been well documented and obviously a small part of me is naturally concerned to hear such rumours.
More importantly however you are rightfully renowned for your integrity and decency and no doubtsuch rumours are only designed to harm your reputation.
I do apologise if you find the contents of this letter offensive, it is certainly not my intention, but I would be grateful if you would provide me reassurance that you are not about to be offered an honour or peerage and that the rumours are indeed malicious and baseless.
Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire
Dear Mr Bridgen
I am writing in response to your email to me of 20 September 2022.
The investigation into allegations that you had breached the Code of Conduct in relation to paid advocacy and declaration of interests was referred to the Committee on Standards on 8 September 2022.
It is not appropriate for you to contact me in relation to your case when that case is in the possession of the Committee. The Committee would expect that all correspondence between myself, as Commissioner, and a Member relating to a case should be disclosed to it.
I shall therefore be sending a copy of your email of 20 September, and this response, to the Committee on Standards.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is an independent officer of the House, appointed for a fixed term of five years under Standing Order No. 150. The role is not susceptible to external influence or political pressure.
Kathryn Stone OBE
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards