(e) Registration of Property
476. Mr Vaz owns a home in London and two adjoining
properties in Leicester, one of which is used as a second residence
and the other as a constituency office.
477. Under Category 8 of the Register, a Member
is required to register "any land or property, other than
any home used for the personal residential purposes of the Member
or the Member's spouse,
which has a substantial value or from which a substantial income
478. This means that Mr Vaz was entitled not
to register both his London house and the house in Leicester which
is used as a second residence, but that the other property in
Leicester ought to have been registered.
479. In my earlier analysis
I suggested that, of the two Leicester properties owned by Mr
Vaz, it was No. 146 Uppingham Road which should have been registered
since it was my understanding that it was this property which
Mr Vaz used as his constituency office.
480. In his response paper, Mr Vaz points out
that the reverse is, in fact, the casethat is to say No.
144 Uppingham Road is Mr Vaz's office and No. 146 his residence.
481. I am, of course, happy to accept this correction.
I would, however, point out that I sought information on this
precise point in my letter to Bindman's of 19 October 2000, when
I asked for confirmation that No. 144 was Mr Vaz's office and
No. 146 his residence, only to be told in their reply, dated 2
November 2000, that I had transposed the addresses.
482. Naturally errors occur during as long and
complicated an inquiry as this has beenindeed, I have made
some corrections to this memorandum which were suggested to me
by Mr Vaz. But it is unfortunate that when I requested clarification
on a specific matter I was given, however inadvertently, a response
which was not only misleading but which contradicted my own correct
statement of the position regarding Mr Vaz's two houses in Leicester.
483. The fact remains that of Mr Vaz's three
properties, one (No. 144 Uppingham Road) fell to be registered
under Category 8 from the point at which Mr Vaz started to use
it as an office rather than as a personal residence (which may
or may not be the date on which he first acquired it).
484. My attempt to establish from Mr Vaz when
he purchased the two properties in Leicester were thwarted by
his refusal, in a letter dated 2 November 2000, to provide the
information on the grounds that it was irrelevant to my inquiry.
485. In his response paper Mr Vaz draws attention
to the fact (which I have acknowledged earlier in my memorandum)
that Mr Vaz sought advice on the registrability of No. 144 Uppingham
Road by including in his 1994 registration form a reference to
the property, together with a handwritten query as to the need
to record it in the Register.
486. In the event, no reference to property was
included in Mr Vaz's Register entry. I am unclear why this should
have been so, since a house which is used as an office plainly
falls outside the categories which are exempted from registration
under Category 8. It may be that the then Registrar assumed, or
had been informed, that, although described as an office, the
house was also used for residential purposes. But there is nothing
in the Registry files to confirm this.
487. In any case, if at the time Mr Vaz sought
advice in relation to No 144 he also owned No 146 (which Mr Vaz
has refused to confirm or otherwise), this information might have
altered the then Registrar's view in assuming that he had been
given the full picture by Mr Vaz.