'I seek clarification regarding the conduct of the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Alan Meale MP.
'Recent newspaper reports suggest that he intervened personally within the Department in a planning matter not directly related to his constituency, on behalf of a businessman with whom Mr Meale is personally acquainted.
'The Minister for the Environment, Rt Hon Michael Meacher MP, maintained on the radio this morning that Mr Meale had not acted improperly and that his actions were not covered by the existing code of conduct for Ministers. There was, according to Mr Meacher an area of greyness which needs to be cleared up. This itself seems to be an admission that Mr Meales actions were wrong, but within the rules, and that the rules therefore need to be tightened.
'Is this not precisely what Mr Meale has done in this instance? He was, in effect, asking special favours for a friend. At the very least, he has failed to demonstrate that sense of responsibility and discretion to which the guidelines refer. I look to you to clarify the whole matter without delay.'