Examination of Witness (Questions 80-99)|
TUESDAY 15 JANUARY 2002
80. For example, if you look at a company or
another organisation, it may cease to trade in one name but then
start trading again with a slightly different name, like "Wildberry
No 1", "Wildberry No 2", "Wildberry No 3".
(Mr Vaz) You would know that, would you
81. That is what I am asking you. Is it possible
that this entry in the books relates to a Wildberry in a different
manifestation to that we already know about?
(Mr Vaz) No. This is a good point, Mr Dismore. We
did not examine it on the last occasion, but I think that the
paymentwe had Mr Zaiwalla's cash books in the last inquiry.
What it was is the same year that Wildberry was trading, as I
understand it. I can look into this.
82. The cashbook entry is September 1995, which
could either refer to a calendar for calendar year 1995 or calendar
year 1996, when the bills came in, whether in advance or in arrears.
Either way, if you are saying that Wildberry ceased to trade legally
by the end of 1994, then the reference to Wildberry from September
1995 can either be a reference to Wildberry still trading although
not filing accounts, or to another manifestation of Wildberry
under a different name, like Wildberry No 2 or Wildberry No 3
or Wildberry (Leicester) or whatever, or a complete error.
(Mr Vaz) I do not know of any other Wildberrys , and
the only Wildberry that I have - there is another company now
trading as Wildberry but it is not anythingto use the least
word"connected" with me.
83. When did that start?
(Mr Vaz) I do not know, but I am only getting it from
the House of Commons Library. It is easy to get.
84. Has the current Wildberry got any link with
any of your relations?
(Mr Vaz) No, but I can get you the bits.
85. If the small calendars were paid for from
the Office Costs Allowance, would I be right in thinking that
the House of Commons Fees Office would have had records of who
the printers were for each one of them, from 1993 onwards?
(Mr Vaz) Yes, but in this form we have not had the
constituency calendars. Yes, they should have.
86. Secondly, and if this is
(Mr Vaz) I would have the records of who printed the
87. In the early years.
(Mr Vaz) Which years?
88. I should have thought going up to 1996.
Separate questionand it goes back to the Zaiwalla account
that says "Wildberry. K Vaz. Calendar"if a cheque
had been made out by Mr Zaiwalla or his firm to Wildberry in 1995,
is there any way we might know where that cheque might have gone
into a bank and whose bank account?
(Mr Vaz) It would only have gone into a bank account
for Wildberry, surely. How could it go into any other bank account?
89. I would agree with you that is the expectation.
We have heard that Wildberry, so far as you know, ceased doing
anything in 1994.
(Mr Vaz) According to the records of Companies House.
90. There is no further information you can
(Mr Vaz) No. Is there a view that this cheque from
Zaiwalla went to me, because the Committee has concluded that
it did not.
Peter Bottomley: I only ask the question.
Chairman: My impression is that we have
got as far as we are going to get.
91. It might be helpful if we could know who
were the printers of the large Asian calendars in each year for
the three years it was printed.
(Mr Vaz) Sure. The only thing is I think
the last living remnants of these calendars are with Mrs Filkin,
so I will need to get them off her.
Chairman: Unless any colleagues want
to raise any more questions, can we go on to the Asian Business
Network, which, again, may not take a disproportionate amount
92. Mr Vaz, I think it is agreed that you were
the Honorary President of the Asian Business Network and it is
agreed that they organised the Into Leadership Conference at the
Connaught. Who were the organisers? Which individuals were doing
the organising of that conference?
(Mr Vaz) People who were involved in the Asian Business
(Mr Vaz) I think you have some of the names. Mr Pathan
was one of them. There were others. I do not remember all. I chaired
the whole event though.
94. Are you aware that in the summer of 1999
Mr Pathan was processing cheques through your Leicester office
at the time?
(Mr Vaz) No, because he did not do this. This was
a comment from a volunteer called Pauline Williams, whose credibility
I have dealt with and whose file I have put in my annexes. He
was not doing that.
95. Was Mr Pathan acting on your authority?
(Mr Vaz) No, he is perfectly capable of acting on
his own authority. I have had many people who have, as you have,
I am sure, Mr Ottaway, worked for me. As I told Mrs Filkin on
21 March he started working for me, he then went off to do other
things, and I am very keen to see people, who are either interns
or working for me, do paid work and go on and do other things.
He is a pretty bright chap.
96. Did you discuss it with him at all?
(Mr Vaz) Of course. I chaired the event.
97. No, the allegations about processing cheques.
(Mr Vaz) No, I discussed it with Mrs Filkin when she
sent me the note from Pauline Williams.
98. When was the first time this matter was
brought to your notice?
(Mr Vaz) When Mrs Williams spoke to Mrs Filkin as
a result of the intervention of a journalist called Carl Fellstrom,
and Mrs Williams had a long telephone call from Mrs Filkin. Mrs
Filkin put it to me on 30 November. It was not possible to discuss
it with her further because the inquiry had closed. I only received
it on 30 November. If I had received it earlier I certainly would
have done something about it.
99. What monitoring did you carry out into the
(Mr Vaz) None.
3 Note by witness: I have asked Companies House
if any such companies exist. Back
Note by witness: I am happy to supply this information
to the Committee if it wishes. Back
I have asked for this information to be supplied. I have no records
on this, but I shall need the calendars. Back