Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report


Letter to Mr Arthur Price-Jones, Town Clerk and Deputy Chief Executive, Leicester City Council, from Councillor Peter Soulsby

  As you know Cllr Merlyn Vaz is a member of the Property Services Committee which amongst other things deals with the sale of City Council land. She is also a member of both the Planning Committee and its Development Control Sub-committee which deal with planning applications in the City.

  You are, of course, also aware that there are three religious groups seeking to purchase land at a discount price from the Council and that, if they succeed, they will subsequently seek planning permission. These proposals are of course very controversial and were the subject of the recent by-election campaign.

  On Wednesday a colleague alleged that during that campaign and subsequently, Cllr Merlyn Vaz and Keith Vaz MP repeatedly and insistently solicited payment of £500 from each of the three groups and that offers of payment of less than that have been, it was alleged, rejected on the ground that if they could afford to buy the land they could certainly afford to pay £500.

  This morning I telephoned Mr Jaffar Kapasi of the Dawoodi Bohra Jamaat who confirmed that he had been asked repeatedly for a "campaign contribution".

  I would welcome your advice on how to proceed.

22 April 1994

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