Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witness (Questions 60-79)



  60. In spite of the fact that your answer to the first question is that they were not in existence at the same time?
  (Mr Vaz) No, because we are talking about different calendars and we are talking about different years. I am afraid we have got an awful muddle about this with the calendars. This calendar (indicating) is my constituency calendar, which is produced on an annual basis. The calendar that Mrs Filkin was referring to in the last evidence was an Asian community calendar, where people would buy adverts and then it would be published, which is what I sought advice from Sir Gordon Downey about. What we were referring to, as far as Wildberry was concerned, was a payment that had been made by Mr Zaiwalla to buy an advert in the Asian constituency calendar. I do not know whether Mrs Filkin has brought her calendars with her, Mr Chairman.

  61. You are answering a question of mine, at the moment.
  (Mr Vaz) Because that would help. It would help Mr Ottaway because he was not a member of the Committee last time.


  62. I think he is just interesting in finding out what the relationship is between these two companies, both of which have connections with each other.
  (Mr Vaz) None, because—

Richard Ottaway

  63. Even though some printing was done for one of these calendars at some time.
  (Mr Vaz) Yes, but there was no connection between—there could not have been payments between Mapesbury to Wildberry because the companies did not exist at the same time.

  64. Who did you pay for these calendars?
  (Mr Vaz) These? The Office Costs Allowance.

  65. Who did you pay? Who did the printing?
  (Mr Vaz) I do not know. A firm in Nottingham, I think.

  66. And the earlier calendars?
  (Mr Vaz) Are they?

  67. You said there were two lots of calendars.
  (Mr Vaz) No, this was the official calendar. The reason why the Wildberry issue arose was because I had a calendar for the British Asian community, which started off this size, it then went on to this size and then it went very big. It was done for three years. That is what Mapesbury did. People would buy adverts and that is why I went to see Sir Gordon Downey and said—

  68. Who printed these?
  (Mr Vaz) These?

  69. No, the big ones.
  (Mr Vaz) I do not know. This was in 1993, 1994 and 1995.

  70. When Mr Zaiwalla put in his office cash book of September 1995, "Wildberry. K Vaz. Calendar", what do you think he meant?
  (Mr Vaz) All I can do is refer you to the evidence I gave on 30 January last year, which is—

  71. What do you think?
  (Mr Vaz) I have no idea. It is up to Mr Zaiwalla, as I said on 30 January last year, what he meant by it. I would assume—my assumption—that he was supporting a calendar for the British Asian community. In Mr Zaiwalla's evidence to this Committee he said he put the reference there. Of course it was a calendar for me. There is no dispute about it. It is in the register; annual calendars are in the Register of Members' Interests, there is no dispute that I received income for it. I asked for all this to be done.

Ross Cranston

  72. Can I ask you, Mr Vaz, to give us the reference to the time that Wildberry existed? You said that you had evidence from Companies House. I cannot see that in your memorandum.
  (Mr Vaz) No, it is in the accounts. I think Mrs Filkin has a copy of the accounts of Wildberry. It ran from 1993 to 1994 and dealt particularly with one of the calendars. I can certainly send it to you[2].

  73. What you are saying is that the company was wound up in 1994—
  (Mr Vaz) No, it was wound up in 1997 but it traded for one year, between 1993 and 1994.

Mr Dismore

  74. There are Wildberry accounts for 1993-94, but is possible it continued to trade but did not file accounts?
  (Mr Vaz) I do not know. I do not know the legal position on that.

  75. It would have been against the rules but it would have been possible for it to have done that.
  (Mr Vaz) I have no idea.

  76. Did Wildberry actually print any of these?
  (Mr Vaz) No.

  77. So if we look at the calendar for calendar year 1996, have you any idea who printed that one?
  (Mr Vaz) The actual printers?

  78. Yes.
  (Mr Vaz) No.

  79. Would it be possible for another company with a name similar to Wildberry but not Wildberry to have done work for you?
  (Mr Vaz) I do not understand.

2   Note by witness: I have ordered a set of accounts. Back

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