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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 March, 2005, 15:11 GMT
Tour row Tory MP says sorry again
Jonathan Sayeed
Mr Sayeed apologised unreservedly to MPs
An MP suspended from the Commons for two weeks over claims he profited from tours of Parliament has made a second unreserved apology to fellow MPs.

Tory Jonathan Sayeed made the statement after the Commons Standards Committee threatened to bar him until he withdrew complaints about its investigation.

Last month he apologised to MPs, but said the committee's report contained "a few errors of fact".

He was also criticised for his use of allowances and Parliament's stationary.

'Continuing disregard'

Mr Sayeed, MP for Mid Bedfordshire, was expelled from the Conservative Party in the Commons over the affair and has announced he is standing down due to ill health at the general election.

He has been told to pay back 12,500 which was spent on his Bedfordshire home - the money is allocated for London expenses only.

For all these mistakes I apologise to you Mr Speaker and to the House
Jonathan Sayeed

A further 9,500 in expenses are being investigated by the Standards and Privileges Committee.

And the committee said it was "dismayed" that the MP had used Commons stationery to write to his local Conservative association.

It was further evidence of Mr Sayeed's "continuing disregard" of House of Commons rules, the committee found.

'Inadvertent'

In his statement to MPs, Mr Sayeed said: "I apologised to the House for the mistakes I made but suggested that there were a few errors in the committee's conclusions.

"At the request of the clerk to the committee I amplified and evidenced my remarks.

"The committee has rejected that evidence and has invited me to make a fuller apology by way of a personal statement.

"I therefore offer my unreserved apology in respect of my conduct and accept the findings of the committee in respect of this and my improper use of Commons stationery."

He also apologised for making "inadvertent but incorrect" allowance claims and pledged to repay anything he wrongly received.

'Negligent'

"For all these mistakes I apologise to you Mr Speaker and to the House."

In its first report, the Standards Committee found no evidence that Mr Sayeed had directly received any fees from tours.

But, the MP and his assistant Alexandra Messervy were "at the least negligent in failing to exercise sufficient care to safeguard the reputation of Parliament", the committee said.

"And at worst have acted carelessly, in a manner which has allowed that reputation to be injured."

Mr Sayeed accepted some criticism of his conduct at that time but said the suspension was "unjust and wrong".

The committee said he should be suspended unless he made arrangements to make a personal statement to the House by 4 April.




SEE ALSO:
Tour row MP loses Tory party whip
18 Mar 05 |  Politics
Sayeed to stand down as Tory MP
14 Mar 05 |  Politics
Commons suspends Tory MP Sayeed
08 Feb 05 |  Politics
Tory MP awaits standards inquiry
02 Feb 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Jonathan Sayeed
21 Oct 02 |  Politics


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