Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Minutes of Evidence

Examination of witnesses (Questions 920 - 939)



  920. You have told us that as far as you are aware the company was involved in the calendars, which may have been for Keith Vaz directly or it may have been for the agent network of one kind or another, which was the second calendars. Is that right?
  (Ms Fernandes) Would I have been—? Sorry?

  921. Aware of the kind of calendars that the company was involved with.
  (Ms Fernandes) I have seen the calendar some years ago, a pretty ghastly calendar, if I may say so, but I do not know much more.

  922. So beyond that you would not be able to list the publications which would mention Keith Vaz's name which were produced by the company pre-1996?
  (Ms Fernandes) Pre-1996—

  923. Say, pre-1997, so you include 1996.
  (Ms Fernandes) There is a book which I wrote which has a dedication but it has only the first name.

  924. That is a post-1996 publication?
  (Ms Fernandes) No, it is 1995-96.

  925. Beyond the dedication there are no other publications of Mapesbury you are aware of which were linked to Keith Vaz?
  (Ms Fernandes) Not as far as I am aware.

Mr Foster

  926. If we take the pre-1996 and post-1996 periods, pre-1996, is it the fact that although you were a director you took no active part or only a little active part in the company?
  (Ms Fernandes) To be honest, I took very little part in it because I think about that time I just lost my child and I was involved in other things.

  927. Were you the signatory to the company bank account, for example?
  (Ms Fernandes) Yes, I was at some point I think. I am not sure. I cannot be sure. I think I was.

  928. If you were not, who was?
  (Ms Fernandes) Mrs Vaz, the secretary.

  929. You have mentioned the fact that it was used for the promotion of the calendars, and cheques were received by the company for payment for advertisements, is that the position?
  (Ms Fernandes) That is right.

  930. Were any payments ever received by the company, to the best of your knowledge and belief, that were for other than the calendars?
  (Ms Fernandes) Pre-1996, I do not think so. I do not know, to be quite honest, so I think I should say I do not know.

  931. What about Mr Vaz's other work—radio work and other public relations type work which he may have been involved in—was the company used for the receipt of that income?
  (Ms Fernandes) No, not that I am aware of.

  932. So was any payment ever made into the company pre-1996 to your knowledge and belief for the personal benefit of Mr Vaz?
  (Ms Fernandes) Absolutely not, as far as I know.

  933. As for the position after 1996, 1997 onwards when you took on a management role—presumably not but let me ask the question—did you ever publish another calendar?
  (Ms Fernandes) No. I have never published—

  934. It was all just too ghastly, was it?
  (Ms Fernandes) I did not.

  935. What did you do after that? What was its main purpose from 1997 onwards?
  (Ms Fernandes) There were a number of things. It was a small company, it was there, I held work on conferences, I did a book and I did a deal with a publications company to produce a couple of travel books I think.

  936. Did Mr Vaz from that point on—you have told us what happened before 1996—ever have any payments made into the company which were effectively for his benefit?
  (Ms Fernandes) Not as far as I am aware and I believe you have in your paperwork two certificates from accountants who have certified that.

  937. They would have certified there was nothing to him directly, was there any indirect benefit he would have received?
  (Ms Fernandes) Like what?

  938. For example, payment to the company for something he would have done personally perhaps?
  (Ms Fernandes) No.

  939. Nothing like that?
  (Ms Fernandes) No, it was all related to work being done by the company.

  Mr Foster: Thank you very much indeed.

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