Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner
for Standards from Mr Keith Vaz MP
Thank you for your letters of 5 and 7 April
which I received today.
I refer to your letter of 7 April. I note that
Mr Milne no longer writes as a solicitor as he has now become
bankrupt owing his creditors £800,000 and therefore can no
I have already read Mr Milne's wild, defamatory
and unsubstantiated allegations in The Sunday Telegraph
of 8 April. The pre-publication of complaints is one of the flaws
in our procedures.
This is a repetition of his letter of 4 February.
It is completely untrue. There is not a shred of evidence to support
this. I have never discussed my financial affairs with Mr Zaiwalla,
Mr Milne or anyone else. I have already dealt with this in my
letter of 7 February.
No one from my office has ever called at "their"
offices to ask for money or anything else in 1994 or at any time.
This is pure fantasy. My present Assistant is called "mark"
and he joined my office in 1999. No one called "Mark"
worked for me in April or May 1994. The Sunday Telegraph
interviewed former members of my staff (my letter of 7 February).
The rest of the allegations are repetition and are completely
His comment that There is a tradition in
India of making payments to politiciansit is simply expected
is a racist comment. I am not an Indian politician. I am British.
This tells us a great deal about Mr Milne's state of mind and
This is completely untrue. The Law Society
Gazette has not paid him any damages for libel in respect
of any article.
Paragraphs 5, 6 and 7
I am appalled and saddened that Parliament's
complaints procedures could allow someone like Mr Milne to hide
behind parliamentary privilege and make defamatory statements
about a third party.
This is completely untrue. I have never been
asked to help Mr Zaiwalla in any tax investigation, I have already
dealt with this point on 7 February.
This is completely untrue. I have never discussed
honours with Mr Milne. I have had a very public and well-publicised
campaign since 1992, which I have pursued vigorously with successive
Prime Ministers for more awards to be given to people of Asian
and Afro-Caribbean origin who have been until very recently underrepresented
in the honours list. This has been a public not a private campaign.
I now turn to Mr Milne's letter of 4 April referring
to Mr Brown. Mr Milne changes his original story for the third
time. I have already pointed out to you the differences between
Mr Milne's letter of 4 February and his telephone conversation
on 14 January and the difference between Mr Brown's statements
of 14 February and of 22 February.
Mr Milne has confused himself. In his conversation
of 14 January (page 2, line 7) he says that "On one occasion
he insisted on cash which I found very amusing at the time"
but he says on 4 April that he remembers "the young man".
But if this is the only occasion he can recall, and he says that
I was not there, how could I "insist" on this? The fact
it that this never happened.
As for Mr Brown's statements Mr Milne says it
"confirms my impression of giving (Mr Vaz) money regularly
for some years prior to 1994". Yet Mr Brown says when
asked by Mr Milne about how many times he says "on one
occasion, yes" he changes that to "I am sure
that there was more than one, but". For some reason there
is a break in the transcript. None of this ever happened.
All of this is untrue, summed up eloquently
in Mr Brown's four year prison sentence and despite all his defamatory
statements about others, Mr Milne wants to keep his letter confidential.
It's a funny old world!
11 April 2000