The independent action group for current and ex Equitable Life policyholders, funded by contributions.

Equitable Members Action Group

Equitable Members Action Group Limited, a company limited by guarantee, number 5471535 registered in the UK

Correspondence: 22/11/2002 - Alex Henney's letter to Glenda Jackson MP

22nd November '02 - Letter to Glenda Jackson MP

Ms. Glenda Jackson MP
House of Commons
London SW1.

Dear Ms. Jackson,

You may recall that we had an exchange of letters earlier in the year when I asked if you would press the government regarding compensation for the Equitable. You told me that all would be revealed by Lord Penrose's Inquiry. My EMAG colleagues and I recently met with Penrose and the attached letter which was recently published in the FT reflects our assessment of the quality of his study and the likely timing. He has a deal of work to do, how long it takes will depend on how many people are willing to meet him. Although he was not prepared to commit to a date, I would not be surprised if it will take him until the middle of next year. "Maxwellisation" will take several months, and then the Treasury will get out their editorial scissors. It looks unlikely, under the current remit, that any version will be in public domain before 2004.

We have been unimpressed by John McFall, who appears to regard his role as far as the Equitable goes as protecting the Treasury, and even less impressed with the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Not only did he limit the scope of his investigation, the Office taken a year to fail to complete one case of the 253 referred to him. On 29 October, the anniversary of his starting his inquiry, the Equitable Action Groups put a letter to him asking him to investigate maladministration throughout the 1990s, and the same day he issued a press statement refusing to do so. Recently a journalist raised the matter with the Office and was advised "We do not answer the press". She then asked if the Office had responded to the Action Groups and was told "We are not obliged to respond to members of the public". Perhaps you and your colleagues would care to point out to the new Parliamentary Ombudsman, (Ms. Anne Abraham, to whom I copy this letter) that we mere public pay the wages of the Office.

I am putting this letter on the EMAG website.

Yours sincerely,

Chairman of EMAG