Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witness (Questions 260-279)



  260. Turning to the calls, you say you have changed the number, but on the number that that alleged call was made, the one that you had at the time, can I ask you if that has a caller ID facility? Do you know the people who are ringing in?
  (Mr Vaz) You mean if you dial 1471?

  261. No. Well that is one way of doing it, but you can also subscribe to the BT service which enables you to see the incoming caller when the call is made. Do you have such a facility?
  (Mr Vaz) No.

  262. Not as far as you know?
  (Mr Vaz) No, I cannot— I am trying to picture the telephone, but no, I do not think so. It was a number that she has had for—It was a number she took over when she moved into the house.[17]

  263. This is a separate number from the one you use?
  (Mr Vaz) There is no other number. For those familiar with my arrangements, it is 146 Uppingham Road, which used to be the Labour Party office; it used to be the Labour Party number, which she took over.

  264. Do you know in whose name it is now registered?
  (Mr Vaz) It is hers. It is her house.

  265. My final question: do you know if there has been a trace on that number, either before or after this incident?
  (Mr Vaz) No.

  266. You do know that, or the answer is "No"?
  (Mr Vaz) No, I do not know.

  Mr Foster: I am grateful. Thank you so much.

  Chairman: Mr Cranston.

Ross Cranston

  267. In fact that was the question I was going to ask. To your knowledge, have incoming calls ever been traced by the police?
  (Mr Vaz) No. They told me they could not do it, when I spoke to them.

  268. To your knowledge, did your mother ever consent to that?
  (Mr Vaz) No. I have not discussed this with her.

  269. You have not given your consent?
  (Mr Vaz) No. I mean, if she wants this done it will be done, but you have to tell people, as we discussed with the police, what will they end up doing. It is all very well us discussing it in the Committee, and it is a serious matter and it is important, but seriousness goes both ways. Other witnesses have been contacted, and I do not see the enthusiasm to try and find out why they were contacted. I hope that the Committee will actually look into that as well.

  Chairman: Thank you. Mr Heath.

Mr Heath

  270. Can I take you back, Mr Vaz. I think you said—and please correct me if I am wrong—that—
  (Mr Vaz) Could I stop you? Mr Bindman has to be away at a meeting, if you would not mind excusing him.
  (Mr Bindman) I am willing to stay for a little longer.


  271. What I am hoping to do is that there are two more colleagues who want to ask questions on this, and there may be others, then there is one final issue which I want to raise, which is about the general nature of your co-operation. I believe that we can do that by 1.15, but I do not want to constrain the discussion, because this is an important exchange of views, so I suggest we try to make progress with a view to hitting that target; if we do not, we shall have to adjourn and come back, but I would like to avoid that if we can.
  (Mr Bindman) I may be able to stay until 1.15.

  Chairman: Very well.

Mr Heath

  272. Mr Vaz, I think I heard you say—and you must correct me if I am wrong—that your sister had written to the police to say that your mother would be very happy to co-operate with the police inquiry, if it was ongoing, when she was recovered, is that right?
  (Mr Vaz) Yes.

  273. Have you any idea when she may have written to them to that effect?
  (Mr Vaz) No, because the police have written to 146 Uppingham Road. My mother has been with me in London, and nobody wants to raise any issues that are going to cause her further anxiety, because she will need a whole explanation, my mother being what she is, of exactly how this has all come about and probably want to come and give evidence herself, she is that kind of a woman. Given that she might want to do that, we will have to take medical advice.

  274. I understand that, but I simply want to be clear about this. You believe that your sister had written to the police to that effect?
  (Mr Vaz) Yes—well she told me she had.

  275. Would that have been prior to 10 January?
  (Mr Vaz) I do not know, because I did not know all this was going on, these meetings and so forth.

  276. When did she tell you roughly?
  (Mr Vaz) Saturday.

  277. Last Saturday?
  (Mr Vaz) Yes, because I promised the police that if they wrote, it was not appropriate for me to deal with their correspondence as there was a clear conflict of interest between my mother and me, but another member of my family would. Then she told me. I do not know when she wrote, but she told me. I can find out.

  278. So she told you that she had written?
  (Mr Vaz) Yes.

  279. On Saturday, about the information?
  (Mr Vaz) Yes, to acknowledge the letter that had gone to Leicester and to say that when she was fully fit she would be more than happy to talk to them.[18]

17   Note by witness: I have checked; the phone does not have a caller ID. Back

18   Notes by witness: I saw this letter after the evidence session. Back

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