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