Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fifth Report

Annex iii9

File note by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

19 OCTOBER 2001

I telephoned Mr Price-Jones on the advice of the Chief Executive of Leicester City Council, Mr Rodney Green. He informed me that Mr Vaz had been originally employed by a law centre called High Fields which had been funded directly by Leicester City Council. There was a considerable row about the management of the funds in the law centre and the city had insisted on setting up a company to manage the finances of the law centre. From that date Mr Vaz himself would have been paid by the company. The company operated with a grant from the city supplemented by legal aid work.

Mr Arthur Price-Jones was the Company Secretary and the bookkeeping was done by an officer from the Treasurer's Department. The company was wound up sometime after Mr Vaz was elected in 1987.

I explained to Mr Arthur Price-Jones that I was investigating a complaint that Mr Vaz had continued his employment with the law centre after his election as a Member of Parliament and that he has not registered that source of income.

Mr Price-Jones said he was not surprised about this complaint because for several months after his election much to the "irritation" of the City Council Mr Vaz did not resign his post at the law centre. He said that from memory this was 4-6 months after the election but there would be company records in the city's archive. He would contact his former PA who well might be able to locate them and he would then come back to me.

I thanked him for his assistance once again.

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