Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 15A

Letter to Mr Keith Vaz MP from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

  I am sorry to ask you for further information, but there are two points arising from your letter of 16 February on which it would be helpful to have more details if at all possible.

  You state clearly that the concert at which Ravi Shankar's daughter performed was held on 17 July 1997. Mr Zaiwalla, in his latest letter to me, describes the occasion as a gala dinner at which she performed, and has sent me a copy of a cheque for £500 payable to "the Gala Dinner" dated 27 October 1998, together with an office account record which gives your name in this connection.

  His cheque for the previous Gala dinner is dated 23 June 1998, which tallies with the date you give. But was there an additional occasion in October or November 1998 to which Mr Zaiwalla contributed? Can you throw any light upon this apparent discrepancy of dates?

  You say that neither you nor any member of your office was involved in collecting or processing Mr Zaiwalla's charitable donations. Would you be able to provide any information which could identify the cause to which Mr Zaiwalla contributed at your request in 1993 or 1994 (he thinks it was an Indian national disaster appeal)? If so, would you have any knowledge of who would have been responsible for collecting the payment, which appears to have been made in cash?

  I would be very grateful for any assistance you can give me on this.

  I have today received the enclosed letter from Mr Paul Gosling of Leicester, the reference is to an item in your 1994 Register entry, which I attach. I would also be grateful to receive your comments on the matters which he has raised.

3 March 2000

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