Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 32

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


  Thank you for telephoning me yesterday and agreeing the arrangements for me to meet Mr Vaz to discuss the complaints which I am investigating.

  I look forward to seeing you and Mr Vaz on Monday 3 July at 11 am at my office at 7 Millbank.

  As you are aware, the purpose of the meeting is for me to get a full and accurate account from Mr Vaz of the matters arising from the material which I have collected during this enquiry. From Mr Vaz's point of view this may appear to be repeating some of the information he has given me in writing in his initial responses but it will allow me to check the details with him to ensure my report is accurate in every respect.

  I attach a list of questions where I feel I need Mr Vaz's answers in detail. As we discussed, I may need to follow up particular answers with other questions to make sure I understand things fully. I have indicated in the text and headings the source of the information which might be at variance with Mr Vaz's initial response. There is no other information contained in the transcripts or documentation which implies divergence with Mr Vaz's responses and I will be happy to provide copies of the transcripts to Mr Vaz for his information after our meeting.

  As I said in my letter of 26 June I hope Mr Vaz will agree to a record being taken of the meeting. I have arranged for this be done by the Shorthand Writer to the House. A copy of the record will be sent to Mr Vaz for correction and clarification before I make use of it. I shall not be accompanied at the meeting. If at any point Mr Vaz wishes to have a private discussion with me I will ask the shorthand writer to withdraw. Likewise, if Mr Vaz wishes to take advice from you in private I shall make sure he has the facility to do so.

  I have almost completed my enquiries into these matters and hope to prepare my report to the Standards and Privileges Committee in the near future. I still await some small items of factual confirmation and if any are forthcoming which appear to be at variance with the information which we discuss on Monday I shall, of course, put them to Mr Vaz for his comment.

  I shall be happy to explain the procedures which are followed after this meeting by the Standards and Privileges Committee and by me and to discuss any other matter Mr Vaz wishes.

  With every good wish.

29 June 2000

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