Examination of Witness (Questions 280-299)|
TUESDAY 15 JANUARY 2002
280. What concerns me is that in the letter
we have been discussing, from Detective Superintendent Gargan,
he says explicitlyand this is a letter dated the 10th"To
date, we have not received a reply from her and, given her current
health problem, I am not minded to sanction any additional contact
with her." He goes on to say later "the victim has chosen
not to co-operate with the investigation". It would appear
it is not clear at that point whether he is referring to you or
to your mother,
but clearly the police have not given an indication in this letter
that they anticipate help from your mother at some further stage
in the inquiry, which gives me concern that there is at least
a lack of information flowing between the two parties.
(Mr Vaz) That is right. I think part
of the problem is the police are getting their information from
Mrs Filkin, and the issue is this. My mother has been ill. It
is not that she has not wanted to co-operate. She has been very
willing to. I am sure she would be delighted to co-operate if
she was in full health and not subject to what she has been through.
If I can just explain, when she came off her morphine four weeks
agopeople will know people who are on morphineshe
was saying that all the doctors in the hospital were trying to
kill her. Given somebody who has had that kind of treatment when
they have been near death, the last thing that you want to do
to someone, when they actually think the people who are in hospital
looking after them are trying to kill them, is to turn round and
say, "Now tell us about Mrs Eggington's call on 4 October."
281. I fully understand that. I am simply concerned
that the police do not seem to have got the message, judging by
(Mr Vaz) No, they have not. I have just seen it, but
thank you for telling me about it, because of course this is completely
untrue. There has never been any non-co-operation by the victim.
I have said that I cannot authorise things, because I do not think
I am entitled to do so.
282. So the area of non-authorisation is the
inquiry into the billings for that number, is that right?
(Mr Vaz) Not the billing, incoming calls.
283. You do not believe you have authority in
that respect, but you have got authority to change the number?
(Mr Vaz) I did not ask for authority. I changed it.
The number had been at that house for many years. It was a Labour
Party number that was well publicised.
Chairman: Mr Dismore, then finally Mr
284. Just a quick question. You said that when
you are in Leicester you live in the same address, is that right?
(Mr Vaz) Yes.
285. Is it possible that the call that your
mother took could have been intended for you rather than for your
mother, or do you get the impression that it was a conversation
between your mother and Miss Eggington?
(Mr Vaz) I do not know. The only thing that she has
said is what I have passed on, very sketchy information which
I gave to the police and asked their advice. I mean, that number
is a number that she took over from the Labour Party. The Labour
Party office was there, so it was the same number. I do not know
whether they said, "Hello, Mrs Vaz, this is Mrs Eggington."
The words were "Eggington" and "Filkin".
286. You do not know whether your mother had
a conversation or not?
(Mr Vaz) No, I do not, and I would not, I have not,
asked her since.
287. Can I clear up two points. When Mr Bottomley
was asking you about the circumstances of your conversation with
your mother, how did the issue arise? Did your mother mention
it to you? You are saying she was very ill at the time. Why would
this be at the forefront of her mind, to mention it to you? How
did the conversation arise?
(Mr Vaz) Well how do conversations arise? She said
she had received a call. I did not say, "Did you receive
a call?" That is what she said.
288. She said, "I have received a call",
and you said, "Yes, mum."?
(Mr Vaz) I do not know whether I said, "Yes,
289. Or whatever term of affection you have
for your mother in those very dangerous and difficult circumstances.
Then she said what? How did she put it to you that she had received
(Mr Vaz) I do not know. It would be wrong to just
say, but the gist of the conversation was, a conversation took
place, Eggington and Filkinthose nameswere used
in the conversation.
290. But you cannot tell the Committee how the
(Mr Vaz) She does not know who Eggington is.
291. No, I have grasped that point, but you
cannot say how the conversation arose?
(Mr Vaz) Just in general. We were waiting for an ambulance.
We were waiting for things to happen and therefore, you know
292. No, I do not know. I am trying to understand
(Mr Vaz) No, I cannot remember. It is not something
Mr McNamara: It must have been a very
trying and difficult situation for you.
Chairman: One last question.
293. My last question is, you said that your
mother would not have known about Eggington.
(Mr Vaz) No.
294. But you said in earlier answers that the
words "Eggington" and "Filkin" were known
throughout your family.
(Mr Vaz) No, I think that what I said was that the
word "Filkin" is known throughout my family, and the
word "Gresty" would be known, because Rita Gresty has
contacted my mother in the past and has contacted my home, as
has been admitted by Mrs Eggington. So all these people would
be known, but Mrs Eggington would not have been. I do not know
who made this call. I have just put to the police "What should
I do now that this has happened?" I did not ask for any action
to be taken. I asked for a trace list. This was not possible.
It is only later that the assumption was made.
295. Are there any more questions that anyone
wants to put?
(Mr Vaz) Could I just take advice for a second? (The
witness consulted with Mr Bindman) I was just reiterating
the points that I made, to summarise, so that you are clear.
296. Can we go on to the last point which is
the allegations of misleading or seeking to obstruct the Committee
and the Commissioner. What is your response to the suggestion
that some of the information you have given the Commissioner has
been inaccurate or incomplete? Do you feel that you really have
co-operated over the past nine months with the Commissioner as
fully as you might have been able to do?
(Mr Vaz) Before I answer that can I just say that
Mr Bindman has given me advice to summarise what I have said about
it, since I have not seen these papers before. This is the information
that I had received. This is the information that I passed on
to the police, seeking their advice. I took no further action
other than to follow the advice of the police, and this has all
been done because of what my mother has told me.
297. Thank you. Can we now go on to the question
that I have just put to you about the general accusation that
you have not been as forthcoming as you might have been, and that
is why this inquiry has taken so long and generated such an enormous
amount of paper?
(Mr Vaz) All Mrs Filkin's inquiries generate an enormous
amount of paper.
298. That is not actually the case.
299. When she is considering me. The reason
is, if you look at the way in which the complaints are put forward,
as was the case on the last occasion, people have come forward
and made accusations. If you look at the complaints that are before
you, the Hinduja complaint was very clear and straightforward;
it was Andrew Lansley saying that I had received money from the
Vaswani visit. That was the original complaint. That is what the
Sunday Times published. It went on from there into a general
inquiry into everything I have ever done with the Hindujas, which
I was happy to co-operate with, and I did co-operate with. The
Mapesbury complaintthere has actually never been a complaint
about Mapesbury. No one has written in with a complaint about
Mapesbury. This is Mrs Filkin looking at my file and looking at
the advice given by Sir Gordon Downey and deciding to investigate
it. The reason why nothing has been found is that there has been
nothing untoward. If you look at the third complaint, which is
the complaint about the law centre, this was before the Committee
last year. This was a statement made by Peter Soulsby on 14 March,
which the Committee considered and decided was not a complaint,
so that did not generate much. The property complaint comes from
the BBC on the eve of the general election campaign, where they
made certain allegations, they went into the property question,
but again no complaint has been made about the property, because
all I have been told is that information has been put forward.
On the Gresty complaint, Mrs Gresty's complaint about Mrs Matin
surfaced only in June. Originally she was raising matters about
the Hindujas. The Peene complaint arrived in January when the
last inquiry was still ongoing, but did not come to the Committee
until after the last inquiry was over. The directorship complaintno
complaint has been made about my directorship, but it has been
pursued. The donation to Lord PaulI went to see the Registrar
about that. There was no circumstance in which I have not provided
information to Mrs Filkin when she has asked me to do so. You
asked me a question, Chairman. I have co-operated absolutely fully.
The reason why I have instructed Geoffrey Bindman is not so that
he can write to the Committee on my behalf, because you asked
me not to allow him to do so. I have instructed him to make sure
that I give Mrs Filkin all the information that she needs, because
from 7 February last year this has been ongoing. I too would like
to bring an end to this, but as I pointed out to you when I met
you, Sir George, you cannot bring an end to an inquiry of this
Committee. The simple reason is, so long as somebody makes an
allegation of misleading, it has to be investigated. So I have
not misled her. I have provided accurate information. If she would
like to give me one example, through you, or if the Committee
would like to give me any example, of me not providing accurate
information, I would be happy to do so.
19 The police referred to my mother as the victim. Back