relating to Mr Vaz's alleged failures to register property interests
and to give full and accurate replies about such interests during
the previous investigation
790. On 19 October 2000, in order to ensure I
had a complete picture to provide to the Standards and Privileges
Committee during the previous inquiry, I offered Mr Vaz the opportunity
to give me a complete list of the properties he owned and to clarify
the position regarding his two houses in Uppingham Road, Leicester.
Mr Vaz did not produce such a comprehensive list.
791. The Committee drew Mr Vaz's attention to
the rules relating to the registration of property and invited
him to register any registrable property which he had hitherto
failed to register.
792. As a consequence Mr Vaz registered his property
at 144 Uppingham Road on 13 February 2001.
793. The correspondence during this inquiry,
which I have set out in paragraphs 135-250, demonstrates that
I again faced protracted difficulties in obtaining from Mr Vaz
a comprehensive list of the properties he owns and has owned,
and for what purpose they have been used, over the period from
1987 to date.
794. I therefore decided to compile my own list
of what I understood, from various sources, to be Mr Vaz's complete
property portfolio and asked him to indicate whether the list
was both accurate and complete. This seemed to me to be
a straightforward request which should have caused Mr Vaz no difficulty.
I was therefore surprised that he chose to respond with a series
of requests for further information which had no relevance to
his ability to confirm or deny his ownership, past or present,
of each of the properties I had listed and any instance where
he had received rental income.
795. Nevertheless, despite the protracted and
roundabout way in which Mr Vaz responded to my requests, I formed
the view, as I said earlier in this memorandum:
"On the basis of
the information I have received, and with the exception of his
failure (since rectified) to register 144 Uppingham Road, Leicester
which he uses as his office, Mr Vaz appears to have fulfilled
the registration requirements in relation to these properties
[ie the properties I had listed and sent to Mr Vaz for his
comments] according to the rules as they now stand and as they
have been interpreted hitherto."
796. Although Mr Vaz had thus dealt with the
issue of the list's accuracy, he had not addressed unequivocally
797. Eventually, in his final statement during
this inquiry Mr Vaz confirmed that he neither owns, or has owned,
property outside the UK, but he still did not give me the specific
confirmation which I had requested about all his properties past
and present within the UK. This may be because Mr Vaz regarded
the information he had already provided as comprehensive. For
my part, however, following my two investigations, I cannot, until
such confirmation is received from Mr Vaz, report to the Committee
that I am able to provide a complete picture of Mr Vaz's property
interests or determine whether Mr Vaz has failed to make any necessary
798. I repeat my earlier recommendation that
the Committee might review the rules relating to registration
of property interests.