Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 62

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Sarosh Zaiwalla

  I write further to our meeting of this morning, 24 May 2000.

  I remain committed to assist your investigation in every way in which I am able to do so. I enclose an extract from the cashbook entry from my firm's cashbook for the payment of £1,000 on 9 February 1994 towards the sponsorship of the Indian charity event which Keith Vaz MP had encouraged my firm to support. The actual charity event probably could well have taken place several months before.

  The extract is from cashbook entries for the month of February 1994. Mr Vaz' name appears against the entry in the same way as the cheque requisition slip for the subsequent Gala Dinner event in 1998.

  I explained to you that I noted Mr Vaz's name on the cheque requisition slip for the gala dinner payments because I had taken the table in the latter case at Keith Vaz's request. The payment of £1,000 for the Indian charity event was debited in my firm's books to "advertising/promotion" account for my firm, which is a normal thing to do as all sponsorship have an element of promotion and marketing. The cheques for the Gala Dinners were made out in favour of "Gala Dinners" so there must be a book account in the name of Gala Dinners.

  After Mr Vaz became a Minister, I had no contact with him at all socially or otherwise until 1 February 2000 in New Delhi. That occasion was the first time I had spoken to him after he had been appointed a Minister of the Crown. I happened to be in New Delhi on 1 February 2000 and was invited by the British High Commissioner to his residence to attend a reception in honour of Mr Vaz. I enclose a copy of my invitation.

  My personal relationship with Mr Vaz has been somewhat strained.


If I can be of any further assistance to you, please do let me know.

24 May 2000

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