Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 178

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Ramesh Nanda, Asian Business Network

  Keith Vaz MP has passed to me with your permission a copy of your letter dated 3 March 2000 and his letter dated 7 March 2000.

  I am writing to you as the Chairman of the Asian Business Network. Mr Vaz said you sought clarification of events that Mr S Zaiwalla has supported. May we say at the outset how grateful we are to Mr Zaiwalla for his support over the years.

  Mr Zaiwalla supported two ABN events in 1998 these were as follows:

  The first was on 2 July 1998 held at the SAS Portman Hotel, the guest of honour was The Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, the Home Secretary. Three hundred people attended, Mr Zaiwalla bought a table for £500 at this Gala Dinner.

  The second event was on 17 July 1998 (not 17 July 1997). This was the Gala Dinner at which Anoushka Shankar the daughter of Ravi Shankar performed a concert immediately before the dinner and the Guests of Honour were the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook MP and Terry Leahy the Chief Executive of Tesco. The confusion has risen because your letter and Mr Vaz's letter states that the event took place in 1997, it was not, it was 1998 at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel. Our records show that Mr Zaiwalla did not attend this event though we acknowledge his support. He bought a table for £500.

  You asked Mr Vaz whether there was a third event at the end of October/November. The only other one involving the ABN was a Business Breakfast for the Trade Minister on 26 November 1998 which Mr Zaiwalla was invited to attend at the Washington Mayfair Hotel. He did not according to our records sponsor this event.

  I hope the above information is helpful and if you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  May I emphasise again that the ABN would not be able to represent the Asian business community without the support of people like Mr Zaiwalla and we are grateful for his support.

10 March 2000

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