Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 7

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Paul Gosling

  I understand that you are investigating allegations against Keith Vaz MP.

  In view of your current enquiries I felt it would be appropriate to advise you of information I obtained a few years ago, which I had concerns over. This information I obtained as a result of journalistic enquiries.

  On 2 November 1994, I spoke with Alistair McKinnon, who at that time handled press enquiries for a company called Ascot. Ascot took over the business that previously traded as Control Securities Ltd. Control Securities was landlord and a shareholder in the failed bank BCCI. As a result of the bank's collapse the chairman and chief executive of Control Securities, Nazmu Virani, was convicted and imprisoned for false accounting.

  I inquired of Mr McKinnon whether Control Securities was the same company that had been referred to by Keith Vaz as "Control Ltd" in his declaration of interests. According to the register "Control Ltd" gave a donation to produce "a report/bulletin for the Asian community into the work of the Immigration and Nationality Department".

  Mr McKinnon told me that the accounts for Control Securities Ltd for the year end 1992 showed that £5,000 was paid to "K Vaz, election fund".

  This raises three points of concern for me. Firstly, why was the company listed as "Control Ltd", when its name was actually "Control Securities Ltd". This difference was important, and could mean that the sensitive issue of the actual donor was obscured. Secondly, which version of the purpose of the donation is to be believed? Thirdly, it is especially important that this matter is properly recorded in view of the connection between Control Securities and BCCI and the fact that Keith Vaz took a very close interest in the bank and its collapse, and his relationship with Control Securities opens him up to accusations of having a conflict of interest in his contributions in the House of Commons.

  I would be pleased if you could give these matters your consideration.

29 February 2000

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