Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fifth Report

Annex i8

Letter to the then Chairman of the Committee on Standards and Privileges from Mr Keith Vaz MP

Thank you for your letter of 19th March 2001 informing me of Andrew Lansley's complaint.

As I said to you on Monday on June 5th 1995 Nirj Deva, Conservative MP for Brentford and Isleworth, and I co-chaired a lecture by Swami Vaswami, the Sindhi philosopher. I understand that the topic of the Swami's lecture was "World's greatest need—Love in action". Among the other Members of Parliament who attended were Sir Rhodes Boyson MP, Toby Jessel MP, Greville Janner MP, Sir David Steel. I believe that Mr Bottomley was also present.

Mapesbury Communications undertook the public relations work for this event at cost for the Vaswami Centre, which is a non-profit making body. The costs of 1,196.10p (which I understand was for faxes, invitations, food, telephone calls etc) were reimbursed by the Hinduja Foundation. There was no benefit to me. There was no benefit to the company which, as you know as you have a report on the company, made a loss that year. Two accountants have certified that neither I nor my office have received any benefit from the company.

Neither my family nor I have received any payments from the Hinduja Brothers. I explained this to Mrs Filkin when she wrote to me last year (14th March 2000). Nor have we received any payments from the Hinduja Foundation. The Hinduja Foundation is a registered charity which cannot make personal or political donations. As I told you, I confirm that this information was given to Sir Anthony Hammond QC.

I would be happy to answer any further questions. I have not as yet received a copy of Mr Lansley's complaint.

I would be grateful if you could pass this information to Mrs Filkin.

20 March 2001

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