In my capacity as Secretary of State for Justice I have not held any meetings in the last 12 months with Mr. Peter Watt on party funding.
I have furthermore met with Mr. Peter Watt several times in my capacity as one of my party's representatives at the cross party talks.
Some information, consisting of papers for the parties to the talks and minutes of the talks, was shared with the Ministry of Justice and is for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act held by my Department. I am not releasing this information at this time because it was provided in confidence.
In my capacity as Secretary of State, I have not held any meetings with trade unions specifically to discuss the funding of political parties. I have furthermore had such meetings as one of my party’s representatives on the cross party talks.
At the meetings referred to in my answer of 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 524W, a variety of topics were discussed. Party funding was not on the agenda for any of these meetings but my recollection is that I did touch on the issue informally with representatives of trade unions affiliated to the Labour party at one or other of these meetings, as they were breaking up, and without officials.
I have met with Sir Hayden Phillips several times in my capacity as one of my party’s representatives at the cross party talks led by Sir Hayden and spoken to him on the telephone from time to time though the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that as Sir Hayden’s review was established by Her Majesty’s Government, it is not possible to wholly separate its role from that of the Secretary of State. I have not however had any meetings with Sir Hayden in either capacity since June 2007 other than at the cross party talks.