Letter to Ms Maria Fernandes from the
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
Thank you for your letter of 4th September 2001 and
the suggested corrections to the transcript of our discussion
on 4 July 2001, pages 15, 16, 17, 26, 40, 41 and 42.
First I will deal with the matters which you raise
in the sequence of your letter:
1. As I said when we met I do not wish to jeopardise
the proceedings you are undertaking in any way. As I do not know
anything of those proceedings other than hearing from you that
they are in progress I would be grateful if you would let me know
which matters covered in the transcript might be subject to those
proceedings. Please would inform me when the proceedings are complete.
2. I am happy to confirm that you and Mr Pathan
visited my office following your offer to assist me. My remark
at the meeting was in reply to Mr Pathan's question to confirm
that his attendance at the meeting was entirely voluntary. I phrased
my reply in that way because as you may recall I had said in my
letters to you of 14 May and 12 June 2001 that you might prefer
to discuss these matters with me in the first instance. I understood
from your letter of 14 June that you had asked Mr Pathan to meet
me to assist me.
3. Thank you for informing me that your one brother-in-law
is not a director of Wildberry.
I am afraid I do need to ask you for some further
pieces of information to ensure I have an accurate picture to
report to the Standards and Privileges Committee. I am sorry that
I need to bother you in this way.
When we met I asked you for information about Mrs
Mary Matin. I asked whether, through Mapesbury Communications
or through your practice, you had helped Mrs Matin with her immigration
Our exchange was as follows:
Ms Filkin: "...Did you, through
Mapesbury Communications or, indeed, through your practice, because
then I will be able to clear it out of the way, help her with
her immigration issues?"
Ms Fernandes: "No."
Ms Filkin: "So you have never
done work for her?"
Ms Fernandes: "No."
Ms Filkin: "In any capacity.
I have subsequently received information that you
did make a representation on Mrs Matin's behalf about her immigration
In the light of this information I would be grateful
if you would explain this discrepancy.
You also answered my question about your expectations
in relation to the winding up of Mapesbury Communications as follows
Ms Filkin: "...I understand
you have taken the decision to wind up the company."
Ms Fernandes: "I have."
Ms Filkin: "Why did you do that
and when was the company wound up? Has it been wound up yet?"
Ms Fernandes: "It has not been completed."
Ms Filkin: "No."
Ms Fernandes: "The winding up has not
been completed but it is very close to being completed."
Ms Filkin: "Do you know when
you expect to wind it up?"
Ms Fernandes: "Within the next month
or six weeks. The final stages of the closing accounts are currently
being prepared and when that has been done then it will go through
a formal process, I believe, of winding up. So it is very soon."
Ms Filkin: "Do you want to
say anything to me about why you have taken that decision?"
Ms Fernandes: "The first thing is the
company, to be quite honest, was not trading as such for a while."
Ms Filkin: "I see."
Ms Fernandes: "I was involved ---- I
was more interested in my practice, to be quite honest. I did
not know what was going on. Mr Mahmoud, in the middle ---- He
died last year."
Ms Filkin: "Yes, I know."
Ms Fernandes: "There were changes happening.
With this current publicity I did not feel that it could get itself
back on its feet and it was best to dissolve it. And I am fed
up with it, frankly speaking. It has taken up a huge amount of
my time which is disproportionate to what it is, which is a small
I am now informed that a stay has been placed on
that winding up process. Please would you let me know why this
has occurred, when it occurred, which creditor/s intervened, and
for what reason? If you feel you should alter the information
which you provided when we met perhaps you would do so.
I look forward to hearing from you on these two matters
and thank you in advance for your further assistance.
10 September 2001