Police talk to Howard over honours

FORMER Conservative Party leader Michael Howard has revealed he has been interviewed by police probing the cash-for-honours affair.In a statement, Mr Howard - Tory leader from November 2003 to December 2005 - said he had agreed" to be interviewed, and had not been arrested or questioned under caution.

By Graham Dines

FORMER Conservative Party leader Michael Howard has revealed he has been interviewed by police probing the cash-for-honours affair.

In a statement, Mr Howard - Tory leader from November 2003 to December 2005 - said he had agreed" to be interviewed, and had not been arrested or questioned under caution.

In a statement overnight, Mr Howard said: “In response to a request from the police, I agreed to be interviewed by them in connection with their inquiries into nominations for peerages.


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“The police emphasised that they wanted to interview me as a witness and that I was not under suspicion of having committed any criminal offence. The interview was not conducted under caution. It took place Monday morning at my home in London.”

Mr Howard's announcement will increase speculation that the Prime Minister will be asked to talk to detectives. If interviewed under caution, Tony Blair will be the first Prime Minister to face such a grilling

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Ruth Turner, Director of Government Relations and one of Mr Blair's closest advisers, was questioned under caution last month.

Angus MacNeil, the Scottish National Party MP who initiated the police investigation, said: “I welcome the fact that the Met police are investigating my complaint fully. This shows how important it is for all sides to accept responsibility for change and for the fact that the corrupt system must be cleaned up now.”

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