Letter to Mr Geoffrey Bindman, Bindman
& Partners, Solicitors, from the Parliamentary Commissioner
As I will shortly be bringing to a close my
inquiries into the complaints against Mr Vaz by Mr Milne and others,
I thought that I should write to you to give Mr Vaz a final opportunity,
before I prepare my report for the Standards and Privileges Committee,
to deal with any outstanding matters.
My analysis of the correspondence between us
indicates that a substantive response from Mr Vaz is still awaited
on the following points:
(a) Mr Zaiwalla's statement that his office
cash books show payments to Mr Vaz of £250 in January 1993
(described as "K Vaz MP, office account") and £200
in September 1994 to publishers Wildberry (described as "K
Vazcalendar") [see my letter of 11 July 2000].
Mr Vaz has said (your letter of 17 July 2000) that Mr Zaiwalla's
accounts are a matter for him but I am asking Mr Vaz whether he
can shed any light on the purpose and status of these payments,
given Mr Zaiwalla's statement that they were both linked to Mr
Vaz. In particular, would Mr Vaz please tell me whether he received
these payments from Mr Zaiwalla or can confirm that these payments
(b) My questions 7, 24, 26, 31 and 45,
originally included in the questionnaire prepared for the meeting
with Mr Vaz on 3 July, then put again in my letter of 11 July.
Mr Vaz has repeatedly asked for the evidence on which the questions
are based. I believe that my letter of 18 July dealt with that
point, but in any case, I need to have Mr Vaz's response to these
specific factual questions. Mr Vaz has all the information he
needs in order to respond "yes" or "no" (or
more fully, if he wishes) to the allegations contained in these
questions, the truth or falsity of which must be known to him.
(c ) Mr Attwall's statement that on 31
December 1992 he made a payment of £1,000 by cheque made
out to Mr Vaz personally, which he understood to be a donation
to the Labour Party. I have told Mr Vaz that Mr Attwall has
supplied a photocopy of the relevant cheque stub (No 003086) and
of his bank statement for January 1993 showing that the cheque
was cashed on the 7th of that month. I do not believe that it
is necessary for Mr Vaz to see the photocopies of the cheque stub
and bank statement in order to be able to provide any comment
he may wish to make on this information.
(d) Questions 4 to 8 under the heading
"Further Questions" in my letter of 18 July. Your
letter of 17 August promised a detailed letter in response to
mine of 18 July. However, your letter of 22 August did not deal
directly with these "further questions" but instead
summarised Mr Vaz's response to the numbered complaints set out
in my letter 7 June. May I please have Mr Vaz's answers to the
specific further questions in my letter of 18 July?
In relation to Question 8, I have been
provided with copies of letters which Mr Vaz sent to Members of
the Labour Party seeking support for a 100/50 Club Lottery to
finance premises and an organiser post and Mr A Gratrix has informed
me that Mr Attwall contributed £250 to the premises fund.
Did the 100/50 Club Lottery have a separate bank account? If so,
may I have copies of the statements detailing payments in and
out. I would be glad to receive Mr Vaz's comments on Mr Attwall's
donation to the premises fund.
(e) Mr Vaz's comments on the various transcripts
of interviews which I sent to you with my letter of 18 July.
May I assume that Mr Vaz does not wish to make any observations
on these transcripts?
(f) Mr Vaz has said that the donation which
Mr Kamal made, he believed, to Mr Vaz must in fact have been a
contribution to the Labour Party and I have asked Mr Vaz to provide
the relevant extracts from the Labour Party's bank statements
to support his view. I repeat this request.
It is possible, depending on replies still awaited
from certain witnesses, that I may need to put one or two further
matters to Mr Vaz for his comments. In the meantime, however,
I would be grateful for Mr Vaz's response to the outstanding issues
set out above, in order to enable me to bring my investigation
to a speedy conclusion. When I receive Mr Vaz's response I hope
to be able to prepare my draft memorandum for the Standards and
Privileges Committee. When I have done that I will let Mr Vaz
have sight of it so that he can provide me with corrections of
fact and any further comments he wishes to make. Having considered
any further comment from Mr Vaz I will come to my conclusions
and submit the completed memorandum to the Committee.
3 October 2000