Transcription of an interview by the Parliamentary
Commissioner for Standards with Mrs Rita Gresty, accompanied by
Ms Eileen Eggington QPM, held on 11 October
MS FILKIN: Thank you very much for coming to see
me, Mrs Gresty, it is very good of you. What I would like to do,
if I may, is just ask you one or two questions which I am not
quite clear about. Could I start off by asking you whether you
have got any evidence of Mr Vaz's involvement in the obtaining
of the passports for anybody connected with the Hindujas or their
MRS GRESTY: It was Mrs Vaz, not Mr Vaz.
MS FILKIN: Yes, you made that clear in your statement,
thank you. Just to be clear about that. You thought that one of
those applications was for a Mrs SH. Can you recall anything more
about that because it has been denied to me that any application
was made in relation to Mrs SH. Can you remember the name? You
said at the time you thought the name was that?
MRS GRESTY: I know that it definitely was Mrs SH
and, as far as I can remember, S would have been her Christian
name, her first name.
MS FILKIN: Can you recall how that might have been
MRS GRESTY: ***
MS FILKIN: Yes, thank you. Now that you have thought
about those passport applications, have you recalled anything
else in relation to them? Were you involved in any conversations
about them or any telephone calls or anything of that nature?
MRS GRESTY: I can remember that they were taking
a little bit longer than Mrs Vaz had wanted them to take so, as
far as I can remember, she tried to speed them up a little bit.
It is difficult for me to remember now.
MS FILKIN: Of course.
MRS GRESTY: I think they actually came through in
the post around about the time she was getting worried about how
long it was actually taking her. Because apparently Mrs *** had
used another solicitor before she had actually asked Mrs Vaz to
get the passport for her this time and Mrs Vaz wanted to make
a good impression on the speed. So they came through and they
were actually collected by a member of their office.
MS FILKIN: And were you involved in the payment for
this? Did you raise the invoices?
MRS GRESTY: Yes I would have done, I raised all the
MS FILKIN: So you can actually remember raising the
invoices for those?
MRS GRESTY: Yes, I would have done.
MS FILKIN: For that work.
MRS GRESTY: Yes.
MS FILKIN: Thank you. The other question about passports
that I would like to ask you about is that you made a remark in
relation to the employment of Mrs Matin that you believed that
her passport was held in Mr Vaz's office in Leicester. Can you
tell me why you thought that was the case?
MRS GRESTY: Because I had the impression that it
was a very touchy subject and it was better that Keith dealt with
the passport up in Leicester because he would have had the means
by which to see that the whole affair was carried through as speedily
MS FILKIN: And who told you that the passport was
in the Leicester office?
MRS GRESTY: Mrs Vaz.
MS FILKIN: Did Mrs Matin ever tell you that as well?
MRS GRESTY: Yes she did.
MS FILKIN: Did she think that was helpful or odd?
MRS GRESTY: She felt it was helpful that it was all
being dealt with by Mr Vaz.
MS FILKIN: I see, thank you. One further point on
passport applications I wonder if you could help me with. Do you
know anything about passport applications for a Mr EM or a Mr
MRS GRESTY: Yes, I know about the passport applications
for Mr EM and his family.
MS FILKIN: How were you involved in that?
MRS GRESTY: I helped deal with the whole of the family's
MS FILKIN: Were you doing that on behalf of Mrs Vaz
and her legal practice or with Mr Vaz or both?
MRS GRESTY: Yes, on behalf of Mrs Vaz only.
MS FILKIN: And what about Mr Alvarez?
MRS GRESTY: That was not to do with his passport
application, as far as I remember, but it was assistance and advice
provided to him.
MS FILKIN: Have you got anything else you would like
to say to me while you are here about any concerns you had about
any of that work while you were engaged in it?
MS FILKIN: Do you know how Mrs Matin first contacted
Mr and Mrs Vaz? Do you know how she got to be helping in their
house or with their children?
MRS GRESTY: It was through a mutual friend.
MS FILKIN: A mutual friend of theirs?
MRS GRESTY: Yes.
MS FILKIN: Do you know the name of that person?
MRS GRESTY: Yes, but I cannot remember at the moment.
MS FILKIN: I can see it was some time ago. If you
do recall who it was perhaps you would drop me a note and tell
me who it was.
MRS GRESTY: Yes, I will. It was A.
MS FILKIN: Thank you very much.
MS FILKIN: Thank you. Could I ask you whether there
is anything else you would like to say to me this afternoon. You
have had time to reflect on all these matters and you have been
very helpful, but I wonder if there is anything else you want
to tell me?
MRS GRESTY: I do not think so, no.
MS FILKIN: If you do after we have finished please
will you drop me a note or telephone me. What I shall do is send
you a copy of this recording that we have made of your answers
so that you can check them to make sure that they are exactly
correct and exactly as you would like them to be recorded. Thank
you very much for coming.
MRS GRESTY: Thank you.
MS FILKIN: We are now going to record an addition
to the interview that we have just carried out. I wonder, Mrs
Gresty, if you could just give me some information about what
you know from Mrs Matin of what had happened to her before she
came into the household of Mr and Mrs Vaz.
MRS GRESTY: I was actually given this information
by Maria Vaz. Mary came over from Bangladesh in order to marry
a man that she went ahead and married. Unfortunately, unbeknown
to her, * * * eventually she managed to contact one of her brothers
who came to rescue her, as it were, but then she was in the situation
whereby she was no longer married or she wanted, I guess, to divorce
her husband, and I am not sure whether she was at that stage an
illegal immigrant because she was no longer married to the man
(I guess she probably was) and this was where the mutual friend
came into play. He mentioned to Maria and Keith that he knew Mary
who would be able to be a nanny for them and that is how they
MS FILKIN: So she came to them recruited as a nanny,
not because they were going to help her sort out her divorce or
her immigration status? That all came afterwards?
MRS GRESTY: I think that came afterwards, yes.
MS FILKIN: I see. Thank you.
Signed as correct Mrs Rita S Gresty