§ Lord Lester of Herne Hill
My Lords, I should like to make a personal statement. Last week I sent a memorandum to the sub-committee of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Griffiths, on declaration and registration of interests. It was not my intention that the memorandum should be made public, but unfortunately it was leaked to the press, by whom I know not, although I am satisfied that the leak took place outside this House. In the present circumstances I am asking to be heard by the sub-committee at an early opportunity to explain my views publicly.
I ask your Lordships to accept that in making my submission to the sub-committee I believed that I was acting in the best interests of the House. I profoundly regret the embarrassment that my note and its public disclosure have caused to this House and to another place. It caused me great personal distress. I apologise for having inadvertently caused offence to the House and risked blemishing its reputation.