Letter to Mr Jaffer A Kapasi OBE DL MKD
from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
I was concerned to receive a telephone call
from Mr Mark Stephens yesterday evening and thought I should write
to you to make sure there was no misunderstanding.
You will recall that I wrote to you on 14 March
2000 for your help on an enquiry I am engaged upon. You kindly
replied on 21 March. I telephoned you on 24 March to tell you
that I held evidence which appeared to be at variance with your
account. I explained the investigation process and how the Standards
and Privileges Committee proceeded. You said you wished to reflect
on the matter and would either confirm your letter of 21 March
or provide me with a new response. You wrote to me on 28 March
to confirm your earlier letter.
I wrote to you on 12 April to provide you with
the evidence I had received from Leicester City Council and asked
for your account of these events. Because I had received no reply
I telephoned you on 4 May and you said your reply was in the post.
You replied on 3 May but provided no account. I wrote to you on
5 May in response to your letter of 3 May. On 15 May I wrote to
you again because I had received no reply and because I had also
seen an article in the Sunday Times which said you made comments
to them on these matters which they had taped. I said I now felt
I must discuss matters with you, invited you to meet me, suggested
three dates and said my office would reimburse your travel expenses.
I enclosed a note on the investigation process for your information.
We spoke on the telephone on 17 May and you
said you would come to see me on 25 May but could not give me
the time until your lawyer told you when she would be free. You
said you expected it to be late afternoon and I agreed to keep
my diary free.
On Monday 22 May, as my office had not received
a time from you, they telephoned you. You said you were still
unable to confirm the time but were coming to see me on 25 May.
On 23 May I received a letter from Amber Melville-Brown at Finers
Stephens Innocent which said "For the sake of clarity, we
wish to inform you that our client will not be able to attend
any proposed meeting".
I was so surprised by this letter that I telephoned
you on 24 May and you said your solicitor Ms Melville-Brown had
misinterpreted your instructions and that the letter should have
said you were unable to meet me on 25 May as your solicitor was
unavailable. We discussed alternative dates. You proposed a meeting
during the week of 5 June, we consulted diaries and agreed on
7 June, subject to the availability of your solicitor. You telephoned
my office latter that date and confirmed to my PA that you would
definitely be coming to see me. You needed to confirm 7 June with
your lawyers, but if that was inconvenient they would arrange
Mr Stephens spoke to me on the telephone on
24 May and said he would be away until 12 June, but that he would
contact me again before 14 June to tell me either that he was
advising you against seeing me, or to arrange a date for the meeting.
May I repeat that I invite you to see me as
soon as possible. I am unable to conclude this enquiry without
seeing you. May I remind you of the relevant paragraphs 11-14
on the investigation process. I look forward to hearing from you
confirming you will be meeting me and to hear from you suggest
May I thank you again for your help on this
25 May 2000