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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006, 14:38 GMT
In Full: Tessa Jowell's statement
Here is the full statement from Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, following Sir Gus O'Donnell's inquiry which found she did not breach the ministerial code of conduct:

This statement deals with my responsibilities under the Ministerial Code.

It will not deal with those matters subject to legal proceedings in Italy. They will be contested by my husband, in court if necessary.

Questions have been raised about my personal finances. These are the facts:

My husband and I jointly own our family home in London. The house in Warwickshire belongs to my husband.

Since 2000 we have twice changed our mortgage arrangements on our London home.

On the first occasion it was to pay for home improvements. On the second occasion we remortgaged the house to get a better interest rate.

In addition, I have twice agreed to use our homes as security against a bank loan, and signed the relevant papers to do so.

On the first occasion, on 9th June 2000, my husband took out a loan using his Warwickshire house as security, to pay for home improvements and an investment made by him.

Because the bank viewed me as a resident in the Warwickshire house, it required my formal agreement to this arrangement and I signed the relevant papers.

On the second occasion, 20th September 2000, my husband wanted to make an investment, and took out a loan using our London home as security.

I signed the relevant papers. My husband has a number of investments and I knew there would be no difficulty in repaying the loan.

I knew nothing more about the nature of the investment.

I was not aware until recently that the loan had been repaid shortly after it was taken out, so our London home was no longer needed as security.

I first became aware in August 2004 that my husband had received in September 2000 a sum of money which he thought he had reasonable grounds to believe was a gift.

By the time I became aware of it, he had already agreed with the Inland Revenue that it should be classified as earnings on which tax was paid.

I did not therefore consider it necessary to make any reference about any of this to my Permanent Secretary. However, I fully accept that my husband should have informed me and, if he had, I would of course have reported it to my Permanent Secretary.

I have always discharged my responsibilities under the Ministerial Code in good faith.

There are separate issues relating to legal proceedings in Italy, which my husband will vigorously defend.

I cannot prejudge the outcome of those proceedings. Nor will I comment on them.


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