Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 26

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Geoffrey Bindman, Bindman & Partners, Solicitors

  I am grateful to you for sending me a copy of your letter to Mr Vaz of yesterday's date. In it you mention that my firm told you last week that we expect to provide you with a response by the end of this week.

  My contemporaneous notes record that on 11 May I spoke to your PA following a message from you that the report was not imminent and that there would be no difficulty if I were to submit representations on my client's behalf at the beginning of next week (ie the week beginning 22 May). I told her that I would let you have my representations as soon as possible, which I certainly intend to do.

  I have in fact provided my client with a draft, but he is abroad and will not be able to give me instructions until after the weekend. I will certainly write to you as soon as possible after that.

  Meanwhile, I note that while you have responded to some of the points made by my client in his letter to you of 14 May in your letter of 17 May, you have not made clear what outstanding questions there are to which you are waiting a reply from my client. I am aware that you asked Mr Vaz whether he had recommended Mr Zaiwalla for an honour, but I am somewhat surprised at that question because Mr Vaz believes that you already have the answer. In any case, you are aware that Mr Vaz has sought the advice of the Speaker as to the propriety of his providing information on such a matter. Nor have you indicated the purpose or relevance of asking that question.

  It would be helpful if you would let me or Mr Vaz know precisely what questions you consider to remain outstanding so that if possible I can deal with them in my submissions next week.

18 May 2000

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