17. The following is a summary of all the complaints
and other allegations against Mr Vaz which, on the basis of the
evidence provided to me, I regarded as requiring further investigation
Alleged failure to register payments and
other benefits in the Register of Members' Interests
1. That in April or May 1994 Mr Sarosh Zaiwalla
gave Mr Vaz £2000 and that Mr Zaiwalla made other cash payments
to him regularly from 1994.
2. That on at least one occasion Mr Brian
Brown (Mr Zaiwalla's bookkeeper) was involved in withdrawing £1000
in cash from the bank, which Mr Brown gave to Mr Vaz, and that
this payment was thought to be for Mr Vaz's "office fund".
3. That Councillor Mustapha Kamal, of Leicester
City Council, made payments to Mr Vaz of £8 per month for
four years from around 1987/88 and that he believed that other
Labour members of Leicester City Council also made such payments
at the request of Mr Vaz.
4. That Councillor Piara Singh Clair, of Leicester
City Council, told Councillor Kamal that he, Councillor Singh
Clair, had made the Sikh business community donate £10,000
to Mr Vaz's 1997 election campaign.
5. That Bipin Jewellers of Leicester provided
Mr Vaz with the use of a car during his election campaign.
6. That Mr Vaz had a tenant (Councillor John
Thomas) in a property which he owned at 146 Uppingham Road, Leicester;
that this tenant was receiving housing benefit, the implication
being that Mr Vaz may have received this benefit as rent.
7. That Mr Bakshish Attwal, a Leicester businessman,
provided Mr Vaz with cheques made out to Mr Vaz prior to 1997.
Alleged incorrect Register entry
8. That Mr Vaz concealed a donation provided
by Control Securities Ltd by a Register entry which referred to
Control Ltd and that the purpose of that donation was also inaccurately
Alleged failure to resolve a conflict of interest
(in breach of Code of Conduct)
9. That Mr Vaz's intention in making a misleading
entry in the Register relating to Control Securities Ltd was to
conceal a conflict of interest in relation to Mr Vaz's Parliamentary
activities concerning the collapse of the BCCI
Bank because Control Securities Ltd had an improper financial
relationship with BCCI; and that Mr Vaz failed to resolve that
conflict in favour of the public interest.
Alleged failure to declare an interest
10. That Mr Vaz was in breach of the rules
on declaration of interests when speaking in the House on matters
relating to BCCI
Alleged interference in an Inland Revenue investigation
(in breach of Code of Conduct)
11. That Mr Vaz agreed to a request from Mr
Zaiwalla that he (Mr Vaz) should try to influence the outcome
of an investigation into Mr Zaiwalla's tax affairs, contrary to
the requirements of the Code of Conduct.
Alleged lack of openness with Ministers when
making a recommendation for an honour (in breach of Code of Conduct)
12. That Mr Vaz recommended Mr Zaiwalla for
an honour in 1997 without disclosing that he had received financial
benefits from Mr Zaiwalla, as required by the Code of Conduct.
Alleged failure to account for funds (in breach
of Code of Conduct)
13. Since the accounts for a constituency
party fund-raising Club, established by Mr Vaz as a Member of
Parliament, were not made available to subscribers,
contrary to the requirements of the Code of Conduct for openness
and accountability, they were not able to assess whether the money
had been spent for proper purposes when it appeared that the funds
collected were in excess of those distributed.
Alleged soliciting and receipt of payments
for help with planning permission or site acquisition in Leicester
(in breach of Code of Conduct) and failure to register payments
14. That in 1991/92 Mr Vaz offered, in return
for £500, to help Mr Jaffer Kapasi, a businessman in Leicester,
obtain planning permission or land acquisition decisions for a
15. That between 1992 and 1996 Mr Vaz received
3 payments from Mr Kapasi in respect of decisions on land acquisition
for a religious building.
16. That Mr Vaz solicited £500 from each
of three religious groups which were seeking to purchase land
at discounted prices from Leicester City Council.
18. The various allegations against Mr Vaz are
summarised in tabular form at Appendix 2.
19. On 21 June 2000 I wrote to Bindmans spelling
out the parts of the Code of Conduct and Rules which are relevant
to the complaints (Annex 30) and on 26 June I invited Mr Vaz to
meet me to answer my questions on these matters. On 29 June, in
response to a request from Bindmans, I supplied Mr Vaz with the
questions in writing (Annex 32). On 3 July I met Mr Vaz, who was
accompanied by his researcher, Mr Keith Bennett, and by Mr Geoffrey
Bindman, and we discussed for some two hours matters relating
to my investigation of the complaints against him. At the end
of the meeting Mr Vaz told me that he wished to provide written
answers to my questions.
21. Bindmans sent me Mr Vaz's written answers
to my questions on 5 July (Annex 36). On 10 July Bindmans wrote
again (Annex 37) maintaining that Mr Vaz still did "not know
what the case is against him". I wrote to Mr Vaz on 11 July
setting out the purpose of the investigation, describing a Member's
responsibilities during such an investigation and asking Mr Vaz
follow-up questions which flowed from his replies of 5 July (Annex
38). Bindmans replied on 17 July 2000 to these further questions.
I wrote to Mr Vaz again on 18 July to put to him further evidence
for his comments (Annex 40). Further exchanges of letters between
Bindmans and myself took place as I attempted to ensure that I
had obtained a complete picture of the events described in the
allegations (see Annexes 41 to 52).
23. The substance of each of Mr Vaz's detailed
replies is set out in relation to each of the allegations in turn,
as they are examined in this memorandum. The complete responses
are included in full in the relevant annexes.