Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 68

File note by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

  I rang Mr Brown to thank him for his letter to say to him that there was one matter that I needed to get clear, that I had got a transcript of the conversation between himself and Mr Milne and I needed to confirm that what that typescript said was accurate. I said the transcript indicated that he had seen money that he collected from the bank being handed to Mr Vaz.

  Mr Brown told me this was so. He said "Mr Vaz had recently become an MP. He was asking for money from Mr Zaiwalla to help set up his office." I asked Mr Brown if this was a gift or a loan and he said it was definitely a gift, it was not a loan. I asked him whether he had given the money to Mr Vaz or Mr Zaiwalla had. He said he could not be sure, it could have been either. His usual practice when asked to do so was to take the money into Mr Zaiwalla's room and Mr Zaiwalla would give it to the person who was to receive it. However, sometimes when he took the money he had got from the bank into Mr Zaiwalla's room, he would hand it direct to the person concerned. On this occasion he went to the bank and drew out the cash of £1,000 and took it into Mr Zaiwalla's room where Mr Vaz was and Mr Vaz collected it either from Mr Zaiwalla or from Mr Brown.

  Mr Brown reiterated that his understanding was that this money was to set up Mr Vaz's office as a Member of Parliament.

9 March 2000

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