Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fifth Report

Annex v18

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Coker Vis, Solicitors



As you know, we are instructed by Ms Matin. We have now taken our Client's instructions in connection with your letter to her dated the 10th September 2001and reply using the same numbering:—

1.      It is not correct that our Client was employed by Mr or Mrs Vaz. She has never been employed by either of them.

2,3,4.  Mrs Rita Gresty came to eat in the restaurant where our Client's deceased husband worked. Her husband used to talk to her about some of the customers and our client recalls having said hello to Mrs Gresty if our client was in the restaurant at the same time as she came in. Our Client has no recollection of ever having had a conversation with Mrs Gresty. She has certainly never talked to Mrs Gresty about employment or about her passport. Our client has no recollection in fact of saying anything other than "hello". We would comment that our client's first language is Bengali and so far as she is aware Ms Gresty does not speak Bengali. It would thus not have been possible, in practical terms, for them to have had any sort of conversation.

5.      So far as our client can recall, Mr Vaz never kept our client's passport in his Leicester office.

6.      No, our client never did office work for Maria Fernandez or any work for Maria Fernandez.

7 & 8.  Our client was very unclear about the details of her immigration status in the UK in 1997, 1998 and 1999. It appears that it was very complex and her husband dealt with those matters for her. Our client now has indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Our client first met Mr Vaz when she had gone for help from him * * *. Keith Vaz took up her case as her MP. He continued to be involved following her request to him after she moved to London. She regards herself as a friend of the family. Mrs Vaz was not involved in any matters concerning our client's immigration status.

9.      Our client is not and never has been an illegal immigrant. Our client now has indefinite leave to remain.

* * *

We look forward to receiving your confirmation that the information provided will not be published, disclosed or disseminated in any form whatsoever without our client's specific consent.

29 November 2001

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