Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fifth Report

Annex iii8

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Sir Peter Soulsby

Thank you for your letter of 24 October.

I can confirm that Keith Vaz delayed resigning his post with the Law Centre for several months after he was first elected to Parliament in 1987.

The requests for him to resign were made formally by the Town Clerk at the time, Mr Arthur Price-Jones, and informally by me, as the then Council Leader.

The reasons for our concern was that he was obviously not actually working for the Centre and this Council-funded project had already had embarrassing questions asked about how Mr Vaz got the job: whether he had been practicing without a valid Law Society Certificate and whether the Law Centre was effectively being used by him as his Campaign Headquarters.

Unfortunately we have been unable as yet to find the files from this period and it seems possible that they have been destroyed in the intervening years, most likely during the period of dramatic departmental reorganisation that took place prior to and at the time of local government restructuring in 1997/8.

I have however asked for further searches to be made and if any of the papers are found will contact you again.

7 November 2001

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