Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fifth Report

Annex iii1

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Andrew Robathan MP

I have been following the case of my near neighbour Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East, with interest. As you may imagine, this has caused a great deal of comment in Leicestershire. I understand that you have reopened your investigations into the issues surrounding Mr Vaz's behaviour and I would be grateful if you would look at two particular questions that do not seem to have been examined.

The first is the evidence of Sir Peter Soulsby in annex 117 of volume 2 of your third report, printed on 9th March this year.

In the transcript it states:

    "The second strain in our relationship was in 1987 when he was elected to Parliament when, despite a number of requests from me and from the Town Clerk, Keith delayed resigning from the post and continued to draw his salary for, I think it was, about eight months after his election".

There were several other complaints about Mr Vaz's behaviour there, but I do not see that any of them particularly relate to his behaviour as an MP. However, remunerated employment other than from Parliament has to be declared in the Register of Members' Interests and had to be so declared in 1987.

Having checked the Register of Members' Interests that covered that period, published in December1987, I note that under Remunerated Employment, Keith Vaz's entry is "nil".

It would be very easy to confirm the veracity or otherwise of Sir Peter Soulsby's memory and I suggest that one might be able to look at the accounts, if they exist, of the Belgrave and Highfields Law Centre, if the Committee is not prepared to rely on the testimony of Sir Peter Soulsby and others.

The second issue that I would like to raise with you is again a failure to declare income or gifts. I enclose a copy of the Sunday Telegraph article of last Sunday, 22nd April, entitled "Vaz failed to declare £3,000 donation".[179] The article is self-explanatory and reveals that Lord Paul's company donated £3,000 to Mr Vaz in 1993, but it was never registered—there was a Register published in January 1994 and as you will know Registers are "rolling".

It is noteworthy that in the article there is no denial that Lord Paul's company gave £3,000 to Mr Vaz and furthermore here is no denial from Mr Vaz's statement that the money was received.

I would be very grateful if you would look into these two complaints as part of your ongoing investigation.

26 April 2001

179   Not printed. Back

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