Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 40

Letter to Mr Geoffrey Bindman, Bindman & Partners, Solicitors, from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

  Thank you for your letter of 17 July and for providing Mr Vaz's response to the follow-up questions. When we met on 3 July I undertook to put to Mr Vaz any other relevant information I receive on which he might wish to comment and further questions as they arise.


  1.  I attach extracts of transcripts of the interviews with Mr Kapasi by the Sunday Times (I) and Sunday Telegraph (II), transcripts of an interview between Rajeev Syal of the Sunday Telegraph and Mr Kapasi (III), transcript of an interview between Rajeev Syal and Mr Zaiwalla (IV) and the transcript of a meeting between Mr Zaiwalla and myself (V).

  2.  I have received a further letter from Mr Attwall confirming his payment of £1,000 to Mr Vaz was by way of a cheque made out to "Keith Vaz", cheque number 003086, dated 8 January. (Mr Attwall has provided me with a copy of his bank statement.)

  3.  Mr Zaiwalla has identified further payments in his accounts mentioning Mr Vaz, namely: January 1993, £250 and September 1994, £200.


  4.  Some of the entries which I have seen in Mr Zaiwalla's cash book mention Mr Vaz's office account. Would Mr Vaz let me know whether he has, or has ever had, an account in that name or similar name or identify for me the bank account into which those payments were made. The confirmatory statements would be helpful. I note that some of Mr Vaz's Register entries mention office costs. Perhaps Mr Vaz would let me know whether they were paid into such a separate account.

  5.  Mr Zaiwalla and Mr Vaz have informed me that Mr Vaz took some part in organising the Gala dinners which received donations from Mr Zaiwalla, but neither he nor Mr Vaz has given me information to allow me to track those payments. Would Mr Vaz let me know into which account such payments were made and the name of the organisers of the events and address of the account holders.

  6.  Thank you for the copy of the current calendar and the information about it. However I am still unclear about Mr Vaz's calendars in general. On 19 January 1996 Mr Vaz wrote to my predecessor saying:

    "I have set up a company called "Mapesbury Communications Limited". It receives the income from the Annual Calendar, together with all the earnings I receive from outside parliament. The only earnings that I receive at the moment are from my Radio Programme. The proceeds from this company are used to support the work that I do with the Asian community which I regard as being over and above my work as a Member of Parliament. As yet no income has been spent from this company on any parliamentary duties, but I anticipate that it will pay for publications that cannot be paid by the Fees Office, petrol payments for members of my staff, equipment such as computer or a shredding machine. The Directors of the company are my wife and mother-in-law."

  Would Mr Vaz please provide me with the current names of the officers and the address of Mapesbury Communications Ltd. If Mr Vaz sold the company perhaps he would let me know that and give the date and details of the purchasers.

  I can see that calendars were produced which carried advertising in 1994 and 1995. I assume that the advertising revenue or donations to cover those publications were paid into Mapesbury Communications. Would Mr Vaz please confirm this. If this is so, I would be grateful to know how this revenue was spent. The accounts for the years in which Mr Vaz was involved with the company should suffice.

  7.  I have identified above the cheque paid to Keith Vaz by Mr Attwall in January 1993. Please would Mr Vaz provide me with the relevant extract from the bank account statement which shows where it was deposited.

  8.  I see from the registration files that Mr Vaz sought advice in 1994 about the house he owns which is used as a constituency office. I understand that Mr Attwall amongst others made donations to a premises fund. Does Mr Vaz still own the house in Uppingham Road used as a constituency office? Does the premises fund relate to that office? Has the premises fund been used for any purpose; if so please give details. (For example, I understand that Mr Attwall made donations to the 50/100 Club for premises.)

  To turn to your particular points in your letter of 17 July. I need Mr Vaz's direct answers to these questions to allow me to conclude on particular allegations of which Mr Vaz is aware.


  7.  Mr Vaz is fully aware of the information provided by Mr Milne, Mr Brown and Mr Zaiwalla.

  24.  Mr Vaz is fully aware of the allegation to which this refers.

  26.  See 24. The transcript of the interviews with Mr Kapasi are relevant here.

  31.  See 2 and 8 above.

  45.  Mr Vaz is fully aware of these allegations, see 8 above.

  13.  Thank you for the information about the Sahara Trust.

  15.  See interviews with Mr Kapasi.

  43.  Thank you. I would like to have the details referring to Mr H Patel.

  Mr Vaz or his assistant is welcome to come into the office and look at his registration file again. If he identifies the parts he wishes to have photocopied we will copy it for him.

  I am still awaiting a copy of the notes of our meeting on 3 July.

18 July 2000

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