Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fifth Report

Annex ii31

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Chris Hastings and Mr Rajeev Syal, The Sunday Telegraph

You may remember we promised to hand over any material we uncovered in connection with our own inquiries into Keith Vaz.

It is our understanding that as part of your investigation into Mapesbury Communications you are examining Mr Vaz's links with an organisation called the Asian Business Network.

It has come to our intention that Mr Vaz's links with the ABN are more substantial than previously realised. In the past he has maintained that he was only the honorary president of the organisation. Our own inquiries show that he had a much stronger link with the body. Indeed it seems that the organisation was run from his own home.

We told you that up until February the organisation was based at an address of 70a Teignmouth Road, London NW3. This was the address given by directory inquiries. We have now established that this property was actually owned by Keith Vaz until at least 1999. We enclose land registry documents that might prove helpful.

Shortly after we established that the ABN was using Teignmouth Road as an address the listing was removed from the directory inquiry service. Whoever changed the listing did not think to remove it from the computer base. That system clearly shows the ABN is based at Teignmouth Road.

In 1999 Mr Vaz also used House of Commons facilities to raise substantial amounts of money for the ABN. A conference hotline 0207 925 1998 was actually registered in his name at Norman Shaw North buildings.

Mr Vaz wrote to various companies asking for support. Many of them have confirmed to us subsequently donated large sums of money towards the event. These include Taylor Woodrow who paid £10,000, Motorola who paid £15,000 and Camelot who paid £5,000.

Some of those contacted confirmed the cheque was made out to David Barnes acting on behalf of the Asian Business Network.

You should also know that we have been contacted by an anonymous caller who seems to have a inside knowledge of the workings of the ABN.

He claims that Mr Vaz routinely signs letters on behalf of the ABN and its chairman Mr Ramesh Nanda.

He has gone so far as to suggest Mr Nanda's letter to you was compiled by Mr Vaz who then added Mr Nanda's signature.

We hope this information may prove useful.

5 June 2001

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