Examination of Witness (Questions 660
TUESDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2001
660. If I give you three possibilities, Keith
Vaz is one; two is Keith Vaz's constituency office, if such an
account exists; the other one would be the constituency Labour
Party with the name at the front, in this case, Leicester East
Constituency Labour Party.
(Mr Zaiwalla) I would not have donated to the Labour
Party, for the simple reason that I follow a policy personally
that I think all good people must work together and therefore
I would support an individual, no matter what political party
661. Is it fair to say that the money was given
to support him as a Member of Parliament, rather than him personally?
(Mr Zaiwalla) It was a payment given to him to support
him for the work he was doing for the community. What his constituency
office was doing I never inquired into.
662. What did you think was meant by "the
constituency office"? Did you think it was meaning stationery
and postages or did you think it meant a new table or telephone?
What was in your mind?
(Mr Zaiwalla) What was in my mind was that he would
do community service for the local Asian community.
663. How was he to spend it or were you saying,
"It is up to you how you spend it as long as it is for this
(Mr Zaiwalla) I think Keith had asked for a donation
for the Labour Party and I had said no. He said that he does a
lot of community work through his constituency office. I said
I had no objection to that, in the same way that I would support
a member if he was a like minded member, but not necessarily the
664. Is it possible that the cheques were made
out to the constituency party or this charity work that they might
do as opposed to their political activities?
(Mr Zaiwalla) That is exactly what I intended.
665. I do not want to mislead you in what I
am asking you. Are you saying that it is possible that the cheques
were to the Leicester East Constituency Labour Party for this
purpose that you have indicated?
(Mr Zaiwalla) The honest answer would be that I have
never applied my mind. I would not be able to give you a correct
666. You just do not know?
(Mr Zaiwalla) I just do not know.
667. You knew what the purpose was?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Yes.
668. And that it was not for political activity?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Yes. I was supporting him as a Member
669. Who the cheque was made out to was irrelevant?
(Mr Zaiwalla) I would not make it out to him. To give
an example, because of the need to behave with propriety, even
Tony Baldry, whom I have known for years as a friend and Member
of Parliament, when he asked me for a personal loan, I insisted
that there should be a loan agreement; I insisted that he should
pay interest at the same rate that the bank would charge me. There
should be no suggestion of impropriety on my part and therefore
I would not make any payment to him without these documents.
670. You state quite categorically, do you,
that Mr Brown was not in the office with Mr Vaz at the time when
you gave money to Mr Vaz or money was asked for in relation to
Mr Vaz? Mr Brown did not bring any to you?
(Mr Zaiwalla) I have not followed.
671. You did say that you had no conversation
with Mr Brown in one context. Why would you have no conversation
(Mr Zaiwalla) I would just give him instructions.
I would not discuss with him and I would not expect him to discuss
672. The proposition that he would have got
money brought into your room in the presence of Mr Vaz and either
you or he had given it to Mr Vaz?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Mr Vaz was never present.
(Mr Zaiwalla) Never.
674. You are absolutely sure?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Absolutely sure. I say with absolute
integrity that Mr Vaz was not present. I can say with absolute
integrity that Mr Vaz has never asked me for money for himself.
675. What about Mrs Vaz/Ms Fernandez? Do you
know her as well?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Not as well as I have known Mr Vaz but
I know her.
676. Did you meet at the British Embassy in
(Mr Zaiwalla) I did meet her in Portugal.
677. That was last year some time?
(Mr Zaiwalla) That was in May 2000.
678. Was there any discussion of this inquiry
on that occasion?
(Mr Zaiwalla) No, but my discussions with her became
the grounds of my complaint to the Prime Minister.
(Mr Zaiwalla) Because Mrs Vaz is very honest and very
straight. I trust Mrs Vaz. This has been a bone of contention,
rightly or wrongly, not that Mr Vaz gave evidence for Miss ***
or evidence was read out, but his evidence was grossly inaccurate.