Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 60

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Sarosh Zaiwalla

  Thank you for your letter of 12 April 2000, which I have seen upon my return from China this morning.

  I am surprised that your office has given any credence to the allegations by my former employee, Mr Milne. Mr Milne is carrying out a personal vendetta against me and is clearly abusing the process of Parliamentary investigation to attack and discredit me for his mischievous ends.

  I am bound to say that I found any suggestion coming from your office that I had discussed Honours with Mr Vaz "in any terms" as personally offensive and untrue. However, I respect your office and deal with your enquiry below.

  With regard to the alleged conversation with the "Sunday Telegraph" reporters, I suggest you ask the newspaper to provide you with a transcript along with the original tape of the conversation.

  1.  I confirm that I had no conversation at all concerning Honours with Mr Vaz, as allegedly reported in the Sunday Telegraph. On one or two occasions at public events Mr Vaz had praised the work I was doing and had jocularly said "Lord Zaiwalla" and that was all. I was aware that he joked with other Asians too in a similar way.

  2.  Mr Vaz has not come and never came into my office, as alleged or at all, "brandishing a letter of recommendation that he promised had been sent to John Major".

  3.  Neither did Mr Vaz at any time promise me "a place on the Honours list" as the libellous report published in the Sunday Telegraph alleges.

  4.  I had no contact whatsoever with Mr Vaz around the time of the 1997 General Election, and there had been, at any time, no discussions between Mr Vaz and myself about Mr Major's resignation Honours list.

  5.  As I have previously advised you, some time in 1993 or 1994, I had received from Mr Vaz what I believe to be a standard letter enclosing a copy of his letter to Mr Major, stressing the need for more Asian faces to be included in the future Honours list and purporting to enclose a list.

  6.  My correct recollection is that in that letter, Mr Vaz had said that he would, or had sent a list of recommendation of suitable candidates for Honours in which List would have included my name.

  It appears to me that your office is executing quasi judicial functions under the aegis of the High Court of Parliament. I stress that it is only equitable that you should ensure that an innocent third party is not hurt by the risk of tainted reporting of the colourful allegations of Mr Milne by the "Sunday Telegraph" or any other newspaper.

  Mr Milne has been found to have been:

  (1)  untrustworthy and in breach of his fiduciary (see Sir Brian Neill's Award, a copy of which has already been sent to you);

  (2)  a person in the habit of making false allegations against innocent individuals (see His Honour Judge Cowell's Judgement, also sent to you earlier); and

  (3)  a person who has had Bankruptcy Orders made against him on two separate occasions in 1992 and March 2000 by the English Courts for hundreds of thousands of pounds of unpaid debt on each of the two occasions.

  I find it extremely hard to accept that your office would give any credence to Mr Milne's allegations.

  In any case, need I say I expect that in your further report you will make known to the Committee Mr Milne's shadowy history. It is gross abuse of the process of Parliament that an individual like Mr Milne with a blemished background can freely abuse the Parliamentary process to discredit his former employer.

  I am likely to be a witness for the Crown in the likely event of the City of London police, who are at present investigating Mr Milne's fraud, commences criminal proceedings against him.

  I trust that the foregoing enables you to proceed with your enquiry.

17 April 2000

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 16 March 2001