Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Third Report

Annex 63

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Sarosh Zaiwalla

  I am sorry the corrected transcript note of our meeting had remained to be sent. I trust you have received it now.

  I am also sorry that in response to your letter of 19 June 2000 has remained unattended. This is because I have had to go abroad in the meantime.

  The reference to the book account in my earlier letter was a typographical error. It should have read bank account and not book account. What I meant by that is that because my cheque was asked to be drawn out in favour of Gala Dinner, there must have been a Gala Dinner bank account from which could be ascertained who were the individuals behind the Gala Dinners. My accounts department has not found either from the books or any other records any other entries concerning any payments to Mr Vaz.

  We had undertaken from the bank copy of the cheque in respect of the cashbook entry for February 1994 which I sent you. We have not done so for two reasons. Firstly, the bank had in the past during our investigation for Milne arbitration told us that it had not kept cheques up to that period. Secondly, even if a copy of the cheque was available with bank, it would show no more than the cheque was paid out cash by the bank. Should you however wish to write directly to the bank to obtain a copy of this cheque, I would be happy to give my consent to the bank to provide a copy of this cheque, I would be happy to give my consent to the bank to provide a copy of this cheque if they have retained it, in which event I would be grateful if your office would make it clear to the bank that you will be responsible for the bank's charges for dealing with your enquiry.

  With regard to the recommendation for honours, I confirm that I have nothing further to add than what I have already told you. I neither sought nor had been assured by Mr Vaz or anyone of any such honours.

  The report in The Sunday Telegraph suggesting that I had told them to the contrary is a selective quote taken out of context of what I had actually said. I confirm I have reported The Sunday Telegraph's conduct to the Press Complaints Commission.

10 July 2000

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