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Wednesday, 5 December, 2001, 14:20 GMT
Profile of Elizabeth Filkin
Big Ben
Ms Filkin is to quit her job at Westminster
Elizabeth Filkin's departure from her role as parliament's sleaze watchdog is as mired in controversy as most of her time in the job.

Having won her appointment in February 1999 Ms Filkin's investigations into Keith Vaz are said to have prompted whispering campaign attacking her reputation.

And she has come in for more public criticism from the plain speaking former Speaker Betty Boothroyd who complained about the high-profile Ms Filkin maintained.

Short shrift for short list

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, as she is officially known, was widely expected to be automatically reappointed her post in 2002.

In the event she was told she would get on the shortlist if she reapplied.

Ms Filkin was born on 24 November 1940 to Frances Trollope and John Tompkins and was educated at Birmingham University.

She spent much of her early career as a lecturer and community worker before becoming community work services officer for the London borough of Brent.

Divisions in the Commons

Ms Filkin then had an eight year spell at Liverpool University where she was lecturer in social studies before going on to be chief executive of the National Association of Citizens' Advice Bureaux.

Tam Dalyell
Mr Dalyell is one of Ms Filkin's critics
By the early 1990s she had become the revenue adjudicator for the London Docklands Development Corporation before going to the adjudicator of the Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise and Contributions Agency before finally landing her role at Westminster.

Her controversial time in the job has split MPs with some rushing to her defence, such as Peter Bottomley, and others criticising her conduct, notably the Commons' longest serving member, Tam Dalyell.

As well as Mr Vaz she has investigated the Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid, former prime minister John Major, former Tory leader William Hague and former paymaster general Geoffrey Robinson.

See also:

19 Oct 01 | UK Politics
Sleaze watchdog faces axe
28 Jun 01 | UK Politics
Anti-sleaze investigator 'must go'
29 Jun 01 | UK Politics
'Back sleaze watchdog', says peer
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