Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 12

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Keith Vaz MP

  Thank you for your letter dated 4 February 2000 enclosing one from the above-named. I received these today. I have the following comments to make on Mr Milne's letter:

Paragraph 2

  I have never requested nor received cash payments of any kind from Mr Zaiwalla. I have not authorised any person from my office, male or female to go to Mr Zaiwalla's office in 1994 or any other date to collect any money. The journalists from the Sunday Telegraph Rajev Syal and Chris Hastings have interviewed former members of my staff who worked for me in 1994 in December 1999 and January 2000. None of them substantiated this story. There is not a shred of evidence to support this. It is not true.

Paragraph 3

  I know absolutely nothing about Mr Zaiwalla's tax matters or any investigation. I have never discussed this with him or anyone else. I have not written to, spoken to or communicated in any way with anyone from the Inland Revenue about this matter nor was I asked to do so, nor did I promise to do so. There is not a shred of evidence to support this. It is not true.

  I note from the Sunday papers that Mr Zaiwalla denies making any payments. I know nothing of Mr Milne's employment dispute with Mr Zaiwalla.

  I am confident that you will find that there is no basis for the allegations. However, the fact that they have been reproduced by several newspapers will have lodged the accusation in the minds of their readers. I would be glad if your judgement could be issued as soon as possible and that it be done publicly so that those newspapers can make it clear that I have been falsely accused.

  Thank you for speaking to me on Saturday and today.

7 February 2000

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