Transcription of an interview by the Parliamentary
Commissioner for Standards with Mr Gopichand Hinduja and Mr Srichand
Hinduja held on 2 July 2001
(Accompanied by Ms Michelle Duncan, solicitor,
Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft)
MS FILKIN: A note is being taken so that I have it
accurate and so that I do not in any way mishear or misunderstand
what you want to say.
MR GP HINDUJA: Can we get a copy of this recording?
MS FILKIN: Yes, you will get a copy of the transcript.
MR GP HINDUJA: Not the recording.
MS FILKIN: You can have a copy of the recording if
you would like it. It is a copy of the transcript. When I say
that, is it possible to provide a copy of the tape?
SHORTHAND WRITER: Yes.
MS FILKIN: Indeed, yes. We will provide you with
a copy of the transcript so that you can write on it and change
it before I use it, if it turns out that you have second thoughts,
or you go back to the office and look something up and find that
something is different. What I want is your considered answers
to those questions. I will try not and take up too much of your
time. Perhaps you would start off by giving me a bit of background.
How long have you known Mr Vaz and how did you first meet him?
MR GP HINDUJA: I think we have known him for several
years. As far as my recollection goes, we first met him at an
Indian High Commissioner's reception.
MS FILKIN: About how long ago was that?
MR GP HINDUJA: About six or seven years.
MS FILKIN: Since that date, how would you describe
your relationship with him?
MR GP HINDUJA: Our relationship has been quite friendly.
He is a pleasant personality, has been very helpful to the community,
especially in Asian affairs. He has taken a lot of interest to
see how he can help the problems of the ethnic minority community.
That is our feeling and perception. Maybe he has a different objective.
MS FILKIN: Yes, of course, but that was your understanding.
So would you describe him as a colleague or a friend, how would
you describe him?
MR SP HINDUJA: Neither a colleague or a friend. A
candidate, a candidate representing the Asian community as a Member
MS FILKIN: Yes. Mr Vaz, as you may well have seen
from the newspapers, has described himself as being in some sense
a spokesman for the Asian community, particularly the Asian business
community. Is that how you would see Mr Vaz?
MR SP HINDUJA: No, as far as we are concerned, whenever
we find any problems of the Asian communities approaching us and
they would like to know, they would like to find out, if necessary,
naturally the Asians who are representing them as Members of Parliament,
whether Lords or MPs, that is how we look at it.
MS FILKIN: I see. You had last year some interest
in various passport applications that you or your family had made,
and I must stress that your passport applications are not the
subject of any complaint against Mr Vaz that I am looking intothey
were the subject of Sir Anthony Hammond's inquirybut I
need to put to you one or two questions in relation to passports,
again to understand Mr Vaz's role in the passport arrangements
and indeed to understand his motivation in intervening. So if
you could take me through, if you would, the times that Mr Vaz
has offered help to you, or your family or your employees with
passport applications and how that came about?
MR GP HINDUJA: Firstly, he has never offered anything
voluntarily. It has so happened that whenever the community has
found problems in getting visas in Bombay from the Consul General,
from the Delhi High Commission, or at this end, the matter was
brought to his attention and he used to verify and let us know
what the problems were.
MS FILKIN: I see. How often did he do that?
MR SP HINDUJA: As I remember, whenever it came, it
was not anything special.
MR GP HINDUJA: Especially for the Hindujas.
MS FILKIN: No, I understand that, but how often did
you know about his doing that?
MR SP HINDUJA: You see, people, whenever they approached
us first, we would know only about our things, whether they were
concerning us or concerning the Asian, or Indian or minority communities.
They looked at us to see if we could assist them, the Asian community.
MR GP HINDUJA: Even Mauritians, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis.
MS FILKIN: You would refer them to him and he would
try to find out what had gone wrong or what was holding things
MR GP HINDUJA: Yes, exactly.
MR SP HINDUJA: This is how things went.
MS FILKIN: That is very understandable as a
Member of Parliament. Turning, if I may, to your own passports
and your own family passports or your employees' passports, can
you take me through the first time you approached him on your
MR SP HINDUJA: Again, we have not approached him,
as my brother mentioned. Casually maybe, suppose we met somewhere
at a social function or happened to discuss about the problems
of Asians or Indians, and then casually we would like to enquire
about what happens or what are the rules, regulations.
MS FILKIN: Yes, but did you ever ask him to make
an enquiry because there was a hold-up on one of your passports
or your relatives' passports?
MR GP HINDUJA: I do not think we specifically asked
MS FILKIN: Or did you tell him about the problems?
MR GP HINDUJA: We told him the problem that since
1990 our application was there, and a number of days. Because
we are worldwide travellers and London has been our base, so I
think the Home Office always used to say that you have to comply
with the minimum number of days' stay here.
MS FILKIN: Yes, absolutely.
MR GP HINDUJA: Then only is it possible.
MS FILKIN: Yes, of course. So when did you first
tell him that since 1990 you had been having problems with your
MR GP HINDUJA: I do not have an exact date, it could
MS FILKIN: Give me an idea?
MR GP HINDUJA: Could be five, six years.
MR SP HINDUJA: From time to time, because the application
was made in 1990 and I think you got the passport in 19-- -----.
MR GP HINDUJA: ----- in 1996 or 1997.
MR SP HINDUJA: No, 1998, I think.
MR GP HINDUJA: No, 1997.
MR SP HINDUJA: And I think I got it in 19 -- -----
MR GP HINDUJA: ----- 1999.
MR SP HINDUJA: 1999.
MR GP HINDUJA: We do not have exact dates.
MS FILKIN: No, no, it is just to give me an idea.
MR SP HINDUJA: So from time to time until we got
whoever we met, you seea Member of Parliament or anyone,
not especially Keith Vazwe enquired from many of them,
just to know -----
MS FILKIN: --- what was happening?
MR SP HINDUJA: Not only what is happening; that if
these days which are not met, is there any provision that one
could get the passport.
MS FILKIN: I see, yes.
MR SP HINDUJA: So it was more to enquire what are
the procedures, the systems. I do not remember asking anybodyI
mean, specificallyto go and get this expedited.
MR GP HINDUJA: Or favour us by giving us it.
MR SP HINDUJA: Or favour us.
MS FILKIN: Did you ever write any letters to anybody
to ask them to make enquiries to find out what had happened and
whether or not this matter could be dealt with?
MR GP HINDUJA: I do not recollect if at all we wrote
a letter. Mostly it used to be in casual discussions and some
of them took interest to say, "We will come back" and
some of them did not even bother to respond.
MS FILKIN: All right. Did Mr Vaz ever come back to
you and say, "I've taken up that issue and I'm making enquiries"?
Did you ever get from him information that he was trying to be
helpful to you about that matter?
MR SP HINDUJA: No, that I could tell you, that some
of the Members of Parliament have been courteous to us. This is
what we keep on praising about the British people here, the systems
and procedures. We think that public servant means that they have
to assist -----
MS FILKIN: Yes, of course.
MR SP HINDUJA: the community or people
who are living in Britain.
MS FILKIN: Yes, of course.
MR SP HINDUJA: We thought that was our right. We
are paying income tax here. That is all.
MS FILKIN: Of course. I do not want in any way to
suggest that there is anything improper about that.
MR SP HINDUJA: No, of course.
MS FILKIN: All I am trying to get is the picture
of Mr Vaz's help to you on that.
MR SP HINDUJA: He did not respond, I think.
MR GP HINDUJA: He did respond.
MS FILKIN: He did?
MR SP HINDUJA: Do you recollect?
MR GP HINDUJA: I do not recollect. Once he told us
that "You will have to comply with the minimum number of
days, and unless that is done it is not possible. That is law.
Only the Home Secretary has the discretion. Otherwise", he
says, "there is no way." So he used to tell us "Why
don't you people plan in such a manner that so many number of
days you are here?"
MS FILKIN: So that you are here, yes. Did he offer
to speak to the Home Secretary for you?
MR GP HINDUJA: No, he has never.
MR SP HINDUJA: We did not know with whom he spoke
MS FILKIN: I see. So he did not ever tell that you
he had approached the Home Office on this?
MR GP HINDUJA: No.
MR SP HINDUJA: Not as far as we remember. It is now,
what ----- This whole affair was going on for over ten years.
MS FILKIN: Yes, I understand that. So as far as you
know, he did not come to you and say, "Could I have some
more information, because I'm trying to be helpful, but I need
a bit more information?"
MR GP HINDUJA: No. On the contrary, when he referred
to us he gave the information of the other side, that why the
visa was not being granted.
MS FILKIN: This was a naturalisation application?
MR SP HINDUJA: Yes.
MR GP HINDUJA: I think it is quite well dealt with
MR SP HINDUJA: Sir Anthony Hammond's report.
MR GP HINDUJA: ----- Hammond's report.
MS FILKIN: Yes, I have read that, of course. During
that time, did Mr Vaz ever in any way indicate to you that he
expected to receive any help from you in return for helping you
with those naturalisation matters?
MR GP HINDUJA: No, never.
MR SP HINDUJA: No.
MS FILKIN: I understand that you are saying he did
not solicit any payment or benefit from you, but did you, in fact,
because you were very grateful for what he had done, give him
some help as an MP?
MR SP HINDUJA: But what did he do?
MR GP HINDUJA: He did not do anything. I do not understand.
MR SP HINDUJA: I do not think he did anything for
us getting this passport.
MS FILKIN: Then let us make it slightly wider. You
were aware, because you have described it to me, that he was being
very helpful to the community.
MR SP HINDUJA: Helpful with whatever problems they
had. So we just used to pass on that this is the problem and try
and see what he could do.
MS FILKIN: Did you ever, because you thought that
was a very valuable servicewhich obviously, from what you
have said, it wasdid you ever think "Well, perhaps
he needs some help, and perhaps we ought to provide him with some
assistance so that he can do that work"?
MR GP HINDUJA: Mrs Filkin, let us be very clear and
candid upon one issue. We have never paid Mr Vaz for anything,
nor has he solicited anything or asked from us. I also know that
the other community members may have sponsored calendars or sponsored
something like this. We never did that, because my brother is
a very strong man on these issues.
MR SP HINDUJA: In those circumstances we had planned
one day to come and meet you.
MS FILKIN: How nice.
MR SP HINDUJA: We are meeting in other circumstances.
MS FILKIN: I am delighted, good.
MR SP HINDUJA: You are looking into it, and I said,
"What a surprise, now we are meeting in this circumstance."
MS FILKIN: We can obviously meet on the general issues
whenever you wish.
(After short break)
MS FILKIN: I have heard that Mr Vaz has not asked
for payment or help from you, and you have not made any to him.
Has Mr Vaz ever performed any other services on your behalf, or
on behalf of your business or on behalf of your foundation, for
example, by arranging meetings, sponsoring functions or introducing
you to other Members of Parliament or ministers?
MR GP HINDUJA: So far as business is concerned, he
has never, nor have we approached him, nor has he helped us. So
far as social things are concerned, he could have helped to see
how the ethnic community cause can be taken forward. So far as
the foundation is concerned, I think that matter has been dealt
with by Mr Broad.
MS FILKIN: I would be very pleased if you would give
me the answer, since you are the people who are responsible for
the foundation and Mr Broad is your employee.
MR SP HINDUJA: I think that has been replied to in
writing by the Hinduja Foundation.
MS FILKIN: Yes, it has.
MR SP HINDUJA: About £1200.
MS FILKIN: And you are happy about that?
MR GP HINDUJA: Yes.
MS FILKIN: Fine. In July 1997 Mr Vaz wrote to Mr
Mandelson expressing his disappointment that there were no Asian
projects in the Millennium Dome. In his report Sir Philip Hammond
said that Mr Vaz did this at your request. Is that right?
MR GP HINDUJA: Do you remember?
MR SP HINDUJA: He did that at our request? This project
was alreadywhat was it?
MR GP HINDUJA: It started with the Concordia.
MR SP HINDUJA: No, it started not as the Dome but
as the National NMEC?
MR GP HINDUJA: NMEC.
MR SP HINDUJA: The NMEC who were given the project
points. My project was already submitted to them, and we were
MR GP HINDUJA: In Peterborough, is that correct?
MR SP HINDUJA: Peterborough was the area which we
selected. I had brought all the Asian communities, and they had
long-listed us. This project was for £2 million. They had
still £5 million to be met. The project was to do with multi-cultural
understanding, how to deal with the barriers of the two things.
Then when the Labour Government came into power they took away
from us this personal obligation(?), as I remember. Then this
project was one of the projects which became the victim of being
deleted. Then I learned of the Millennium Dome. 14 zones, 13 zones
were commissioned. One was not commissioned, that was called the
spirit zone. That is how I wrote to Jenny Page, who was the CEO
of NMEC. I knew her, I wrote to her. I said, "You know the
whole venture, and you were very much wanting this to go ahead,
but unfortunately it hasn't. How about taking this into the Dome?"
She said, "It's a very good idea, but already the designers
have gone ahead, there is nothing much changed in this."
I said, "At least a window, because unless you have this
multicultural concept, the spirit zone will have no meaning."
My dilemma was already on. Maybe possibly I might have brought
to the attention of Keith Vaz that this is what I am persuading
with Jenny Page, to see if some kind of assistance can be given.
Possibly it may be that I might have mentioned it to him.
MR GP HINDUJA: Might be Keith Vaz. You must have
done it so many times to make sure they agreed.
MR SP HINDUJA: And brought it to the attention of
practically all the people in the country.
MS FILKIN: According to Sir Philip Hammond's report,
Mr Vaz did write that letter at your request. That is what Mr
Vaz I believe told Sir Philip Hammond. So why did you choose him
as the way of making representations to Mr Mandelson?
MR GP HINDUJA: Is he the only one who has written?
MS FILKIN: I cannot answer that question, I can only
tell what you is on the public record.
MR GP HINDUJA: We would not have told him to write
MS FILKIN: You would not?
MR GP HINDUJA: We would have only have brought the
problem to him to see if any assistance could be given.
MS FILKIN: I see.
MR GP HINDUJA: When he wrote what he did it would
be between him and the party only.
MS FILKIN: I am sure I know what the answer is to
this, but you will understand why I have to ask it. He did make
those representations, he believes, following your request, and
obviously that was successful, or your representations to a wide
range of people were successful in some way.
MR GP HINDUJA: No, I do not believe that at all.
It was not successful.
MR SP HINDUJA: It was not successful.
MR GP HINDUJA: There was no one wanting to touch
that zone. It was only this man (indicating Mr SP Hinduja), and
even his colleagues in the office they were all against it, because
everyone wanted to sponsor a commercial zone, whether it was British
Aerospace, or Boots or this or that. He felt that in his lifetime
the objective of what he had achieved -----
MR SP HINDUJA: This is the best platform to achieve
MR GP HINDUJA: He found that so many million would
come and he would be able to convey the message, but unfortunately
that dream did not work because once he announced it -
MR SP HINDUJA: No, no, it was not being taken up.
It was not being taken up until the last minute, where I volunteered
to underwrite, with one condition, that they provided 50 per cent
by the Government and 50 per cent I had to pay. I underwrote first
they said six million, then they said four million, and when I
underwrote, on the contrary, I got the maximum criticism. What
was the criticism? "Oh, the Hinduja brothers are overtaking
the Christians. The Hinduja brothers are converting the Christians".
MR GP HINDUJA: Converting the Christians. All these
things the media came up with. Anyway, it is over.
MR SP HINDUJA: Again, after doing this also, what
was to be done or achieved, I feel unhappy about this.
MR GP HINDUJA: It was not well represented.
MS FILKIN: So you had to put in £4 million?
MR SP HINDUJA: I had underwritten. Then, when this
criticism came, when they asked me, "Why are you underwriting,
why are you not sponsoring?", I said, "I am not sponsoring,
I am underwriting because I want all of the communities to participate.
I don't want to put in all this money. If I put it in it will
be seen as the Hindujas' show". So the minute I announced
it that is how the Christians came, the Archbishop of Canterbury,
others, everybody then became part of that.
MR GP HINDUJA: We wanted representation of all the
MR SP HINDUJA: That is how £1 million was left,
balance, which -----
MS FILKIN: ----- you paid?
MR SP HINDUJA: I had to pay. I had no other choice.
Why I say I was unhappy was because what really was to be done,
what was my dream, did not happen.
MR GP HINDUJA: Not only that, even at the end of
the day we wanted that to be shifted to some other place.
MR SP HINDUJA: Other place, to continue.
MR GP HINDUJA: This was not given.
MR SP HINDUJA: The biggest problem of the world today
is understanding, that is where we have many of the problems.
MS FILKIN: Of course. Absolutely. So at the end of
that, at least some arrangement occurred whereby you could help
get that spirit zone into existence, and in the end you ended
up having to put in £1 million, because that is what the
project was short overall, is that right?
MR GP HINDUJA: Yes, but he could not do anything
on this. It was because nobody was willing to contribute to the
faith zone, he got caught up there. You can call that bad luck
MR SP HINDUJA: I was prepared for it, but if one
thinks that this was because of X, or Y or Z, no, it was all my
efforts, it was all my concept, it was all because I took the
risk of underwriting the 4 million or 6 million, and therefore
it happened. It did not happen by way of any favour to the Hindujas.
MR GP HINDUJA: From anybody.
MR SP HINDUJA: Or even after we did it, we did not
get any sort of favours -----
MS FILKIN: Credit?
MR SP HINDUJA: ----- any favours from anybody.
MR GP HINDUJA: On the contrary, we were not even
allowed to go into it.
MR SP HINDUJA: That came in the newspapers, and I
had no other choice, if you look at the article on 2nd January,
where I have shown the maximum grievance, which was in the headline.
I would request you to kindly read that article.
MS FILKIN: I will. If you have a copy of it, I will
be grateful to see it.
MR GP HINDUJA: I will send it to you.
MR SP HINDUJA: You will see how all of this has been
twisted into something as if we have taken any favour. Though
my lawyers may tell me not to say all this, but at the end of
the day this is the reality, I feel really very bad.
MS FILKIN: I am very interested, of course, to hear
that, and I can understand how distressing that must have been.
MR SP HINDUJA: I worked on this project for over
four years, I put my heart and soul into it.
MS FILKIN: It must have been very frustrating.
MR GP HINDUJA: In life failures do come.
MS FILKIN: It must have been very frustrating and,
as you say, it is a pity that it has not been able to go on. What
I have to look at is the part, if any, that Mr Vaz played in that,
and what he said to the Hammond Inquiry was that he had written
to Mr Mandelson to promote that.
MR SP HINDUJA: He might have done his own duty.
MS FILKIN: Yes.
MR GP HINDUJA: But in our opinion, he was not successful.
MS FILKIN: So you said.
MR SP HINDUJA: Only to enlighten you, regarding this,
we also established a centre in Cambridge University
MS FILKIN: Yes, I was aware of that.
MR SP HINDUJA: We have also established in Colombia.
It was not that that had anything to do with the Dome, it was
much prior to the Dome, so it is ----
MR GP HINDUJA: It is the continuity of the concept.
MR SP HINDUJA: No, no, it is the concern. I mean,
as a business ----- Unfortunately, we are looked at as business
people. If some bishop or some pope had done this, everybody would
have admired it, but unfortunately I am not a pope.
MS FILKIN: Thank you for telling me all that. Other
than the conversation that you had that led to Mr Vaz writing
that letter, did you go back to him at any time and say, "Can
you give us some more help?" or "Why hasn't it worked?"?
MR GP HINDUJA: Well, he was not successful. What
help could he give further?
MS FILKIN: Did you ever raise that with him? Did
you ever say to him, "What went wrong?"?
MR GP HINDUJA: I do not think so.
MR SP HINDUJA: We never show any grievance to anyone
if the other person is doing it, because it is not my personal
work, it is the work of the people. I should only show grievance
when I am expecting something for myself, you see, so why should
I feel unhappy about it?
MS FILKIN: I see. I now, if I may, would like to
turn to this public relations company that is called Mapesbury
Communications Ltd. Could you tell me what you know about that
MR GP HINDUJA: We first came to know about it when
you raised the question. We did not know about this company at
MS FILKIN: So before I raised it with you you did
not know that Mr Vaz was in any way connected with that company?
MR GP HINDUJA: No.
MS FILKIN: Just so that I have got a proper background
and so I understand the replies that I had from the foundation,
perhaps you could just give me some sort of picture of the objectives
of your foundation?
MR SP HINDUJA: The objectives of the foundation?
MS FILKIN: Yes. What is your foundation for?
MR SP HINDUJA: The foundation has been there, it
was established by my father in 1944.
MS FILKIN: Yes.
MR SP HINDUJA: His objective was health and education,
to establish national health and education in society, the first
one, to establish a hospital.
MR GP HINDUJA: A charitable one, totally.
MR SP HINDUJA: A charitable hospital.
MS FILKIN: In India?
MR GP HINDUJA: In Bombay.
MR SP HINDUJA: And a school, a college, women's welfare.
MR GP HINDUJA: Orphanage, old man's house, widow's
MR SP HINDUJA: Old man's house. These were the kind
of things which he believed that he is earning to keep. That was
from his childhood. We have inherited that and we continued to
do this and participate in these kinds of activities. Now, fortunately,
we would like to also inform you that we are celebrating the century
of the founder 100 years. We are putting a world knowledge centre
in India, which will deal only with all this health and education
for the people who cannot afford to go abroad. All those facilities
we are trying to make available to people not only in India but
all over the world.
MS FILKIN: The office of the foundation is in London,
MR SP HINDUJA: One is in London, one is in Geneva,
one is in New York, one is in Bombay.
MR GP HINDUJA: One is in Delhi, one in is Madras
and one is in Iran. We also support mosques. We also support Bahaists,
whoever comes, whether it is a church or anything.
MR SP HINDUJA: Anything to do with a human being
on health and education. We try to do our best to see how we can
MS FILKIN: So it is a very extensive foundation with
very extensive resources?
MR SP HINDUJA: Yes.
MS FILKIN: Worldwide. Thank you.
MR SP HINDUJA: If have you any personal interest
in thatnothing to do with thisI will be very happy
to send you the material.
MS FILKIN: Thank you, I would be very grateful to
have it. As to your relationship with it, are you directors of
it, or on the boardpersonally, I mean?
MR GP HINDUJA: We are trustees.
MS FILKIN: You are trustees. Perhaps you could tell
me how you became involved in the arrangements for the lecture
given by Dada Vaswani in the House of Commons in 1995?
MR GP HINDUJA: We were approached by the Sindhi community
here to sponsor it. We asked them what would be the expenses,
and they said around £1,000 to £1,200. We said, "Fine,
we will do it".
MS FILKIN: Yes. Who approached you?
MR GP HINDUJA: From the Sindhi community. The general
MS FILKIN: Can you recall his name?
MR GP HINDUJA: No, but I am sure we can find out.
MR SP HINDUJA: Dada Vaswani has a centre. A few of
them had approached us that he would be here on such and such
MR GP HINDUJA: He is a great saint with a lot of
teachings worldwide. He gives big talks in the United Nations.
MR SP HINDUJA: He has his own big centre.
MS FILKIN: Yes, absolutely.
MR GP HINDUJA: He is a well respected person.
MS FILKIN: So you said you would provide the funds
for that meeting?
MR GP HINDUJA: Yes.
MS FILKIN: Through the foundation?
MR GP HINDUJA: Of course. Whatever charities we do,
it goes through the foundation.
MS FILKIN: Yes. So how did Mr Vaz then become involved
MR GP HINDUJA: Again, it is an Asian community affair,
so automatically he gets involved. At any Asian event you will
find Keith Vaz.
MR SP HINDUJA: Keith Vaz and others also, other Lords
MR GP HINDUJA: Asian MPs and peers, you will normally
find them involved.
MS FILKIN: But his involvement ----- Did you know
that he was involved in, for example, booking the rooms in the
House of Commons? Did you know that he was involved at that point?
MR SP HINDUJA: I will explain to you. We introduced
to these centre people and then they co-ordinated.
MS FILKIN: I see, you introduced them to him?
MR SP HINDUJA: Yes.
MS FILKIN: Yes, I see.
MR GP HINDUJA: Wait a minute, you did not introduce
Keith Vaz to him. I think our foundation director was looking
MR SP HINDUJA: Yes, that is what I meant.
MS FILKIN: It was your foundation director who introduced
them to Keith Vaz. The foundation director made that connection?
MR SP HINDUJA: Yes.
MR GP HINDUJA: That is correct.
MS FILKIN: Would you say that Mr Vaz's involvement
in arranging that, in booking the roomswhich is a perfectly
proper thing for an MP to do, there is nothing improper about
itwould you say that in any way that was seen or could
be seen as him promoting himself in his role as a Member of Parliament?
MR GP HINDUJA: I never thought that.
MR SP HINDUJA: I never thought that.
MR GP HINDUJA: I do not know why he did it, but he
was always helpful to such causes. I did not know what was the
motive or objective behind him?
MS FILKIN: No, of course, but that was not how you
saw it. Turning to the funds which we have just talked about,
the foundation was invoiced by Mapesbury Communications Ltd. Did
you know that Mr Vaz had any connection at all with that company?
MR GP HINDUJA: No. I think I replied to you earlier
that we first came to know -----
MS FILKIN: I know you did not to begin with, but
when you got the invoice, by the time you got the invoice, did
you know that Mr Vaz was in any way connected with the company?
MR GP HINDUJA: No, not at all, because these small
amounts, they do not even come to us, they are directed to the
foundation and they clear it up.
MS FILKIN: So would it be likely that the foundation
knew that Mr Vaz was connected with the company?
MR GP HINDUJA: I do not think so. Was really Mr Vaz
the owner of that?
MS FILKIN: No, I do not think he was the owner, it
was whether he had any connection with it; that was my question.
Did you regard that payment or would you regard that payment as
a reasonable charge for whatever was done by Mapesbury Communications?
MR GP HINDUJA: It was very competitive to serve refreshments.
MR SP HINDUJA: The foundation has given you the details,
MR GP HINDUJA: No, her question is, what would we
feel, are we thinking that this amount was -----
MR SP HINDUJA: That again, I think, would be the
job of the Hinduja Foundation director to check.
MS FILKIN: That it was a reasonable amount of money?
MR SP HINDUJA: Yes, because this has to meet those
MS FILKIN: Did you have any knowledge about it?
MR GP HINDUJA: By the way, we wanted to make sure
that the Charity Commissioner had cleared it and it had been cleared
by the Charity Commissioner.
MR SP HINDUJA: That was in 1995.
MS FILKIN: There is nothing, of course, improper
about a company charging a charity a sum of money for a service
that it delivers, but in terms of your own recollection or what
you now know about that fee, did you assume that that was a commercial
rate or did you assume that it was that company acting on a notforprofit
basis when they made that charge for that lecture?
MR GP HINDUJA: In my opinion, I would see it on a
nonprofit basis, because had it been on a profit basis one
would not have encouraged that. I am sure the director would have
MR SP HINDUJA: But whether on a profit basis or non-profit
basis, I do not think we will be the correct people to answer
that, you see.
MS FILKIN: No, of course. I just wondered if you
had any idea.
MR SP HINDUJA: I can only give you the actual fact
that the invoices that the Hinduja Foundation receives, the invoice
from some others, is the job of the accountant, the job that the
director of the foundation has to check, and that does not come
to us, therefore I do not think we can comment.
MS FILKIN: I see. What did Mapesbury Communications
do in setting up that event?
MR GP HINDUJA: We would not know.
MS FILKIN: What did they do for their £1200.
MR GP HINDUJA: We would not know.
MS FILKIN: But you went to the event?
MR GP HINDUJA: I think that you were there?
MR SP HINDUJA: I think so. I think so, but I cannot
MS FILKIN: Can you recall? Did you get food and drink?
MR SP HINDUJA: You see, with me I do not eat, I do
not drink, I do not eat anywhere in a restaurant or in anybody's
house, so the question of my tasting anything does not arise.
The maximum is water.
MS FILKIN: No, I know. Did you notice what was being
done? Did you have any conception what was being done?
MR GP HINDUJA: I was there for a little while and
I think they had arranged food for the reception, tea and snacks
and that sort of thing.
MS FILKIN: Yes. Did you ever have any involvement
in the drawing up of the guest list for that event?
MR GP HINDUJA: I would not recollect, but if it was
sponsored by the foundation, I am sure the foundation must have
MR SP HINDUJA: Assisted with that centre.
MS FILKIN: And suggested some people who might like
MR GP HINDUJA: I am sure.
MR SP HINDUJA: And maybe together assisted in this
MS FILKIN: I see. Have you ever had any conversation
with Mr Vaz about Mapesbury Communications Limited?
MR GP HINDUJA: Never.
MS FILKIN: Never at the time or never since?
MR SP HINDUJA: Since? You mean since you have been
enquiring about what is going on?
MR GP HINDUJA: I asked Broad what is Mapesbury, how
did this name come up and what it is.
MS FILKIN: Did you ever discuss it with Mr Vaz?
MR GP HINDUJA: No, we have not discussed it at all.
MS FILKIN: So he never talked to you about his public
relations company in any form?
MR GP HINDUJA: No, never.
MR SP HINDUJA: No.
MS FILKIN: I wonder if you could clarify for me some
small matter, which is the date of the lecture. Mr Vaz has said
that it took place on 6th July, but the invoice is dated 4th June.
Can you tell me?
MR SP HINDUJA: What is this?
MS FILKIN: When this event took place, this event
in the House of Commons. Could you tell me when it took place.
MR GP HINDUJA: We would not recollect five years
back, but I think Mr Broad would be the right person to answer
MR SP HINDUJA: Did you ask Broad?
MS FILKIN: I did not ask him the dates.
MR GP HINDUJA: We can find out for you and provide
it. That is not a problem. You want to know the date of the event?
MS FILKIN: I want to know the date of the event,
because I can see from the invoice that the invoice was dated
MR SP HINDUJA: And the event was -----?
MS FILKIN: I do not know. Mr Vaz thinks it was 6th
July, and I am trying to get that clear. It may be that the invoice
was raised before the event because the company needed the money
to buy the food and so forth.
MR GP HINDUJA: I do not know.
MS FILKIN: It might be anything. I do not know what
the explanation is for that, it is just slightly odd, so I just
thought I ought to ask.
MR GP HINDUJA: We will find out.
MS FILKIN: It made me wonder whether there were in
fact two events? I just wondered whether there were two events.
MR GP HINDUJA: In fact I am sure, because I went
through the papers of Broad.
MS FILKIN: Mr Broad's letter says that the lecture
took place on 8th June.
MR SP HINDUJA: It says.
MS FILKIN: Mr Broad says that.
MR SP HINDUJA: Broad says 8th June, Keith Vaz says
MS FILKIN: Yes.
MR GP HINDUJA: Whatever Broad says, that is correct.
MS FILKIN: Perhaps you would like to check it with
him and let me know, so that we are absolutely sure.
MR GP HINDUJA: We can verify it.
MS FILKIN: One of the complaints that I have received
alleges that Mr Vaz enjoyed the use of some of your offices at
the foundation. Mr Broad has told me that apart from the use of
a researcher and a telephone, Mr Vaz had no other facilities provided
within your office. I have had an allegation from somebody who
I believe probably worked in the foundation that indeed Mr Vaz
had the use of an office. Mr Broad has confirmed that he had the
facility of a researcher and the use of a telephone, but that
is all. Could you, for the record, confirm whether you in your
business or, indeed, in that foundation provided Mr Vaz with any
office facilities at all?
MR GP HINDUJA: No office facilities. I would not
even say that he had a researcher facility ever made to him.
MS FILKIN: So what did he have?
MS DUNCAN: Did Mr Broad's letter mention a researcher?
MS FILKIN: I would have to go back and check that.
MR GP HINDUJA: No, but the fact is fact, he did not
have any, so even if Broad said it, he has not.
MS FILKIN: He may have meant that there were people
in the foundation who provided his research for him. All I am
trying to do is establish what the facts are.
MR GP HINDUJA: No, the fact is that he neither had
any facilities nor an officenot even a desk.
MR SP HINDUJA: Nor even a telephone, only when he
MR GP HINDUJA: Any telephone call, any incoming telephone
call for him, the operator would have connected.
MR SP HINDUJA: Connected, or he might have spoken
from there, but I would not say that facilities were given to
MS FILKIN: So as far as are you aware, he did not
have any researcher facilities either?
MR GP HINDUJA: No.
MS FILKIN: By the sound of it, from what you are
sayingthough let me checkMr Vaz, as far as you know,
did not receive any help in his capacity as a Member of Parliament
from the foundation?
MR SP HINDUJA: What sort of help?
MS FILKIN: Any helpsecretarial help, help
with telephones, help with anything.
MR SP HINDUJA: No, no.
MS FILKIN: Mr Vaz visited the foundation quite frequentlyMr
Broad puts it "to discuss matters" and that he was involved
in drafting speeches. For who were those speeches drafted?
MR SP HINDUJA: I would only say that it was not -----
MR GP HINDUJA: Why do we not hear the question once
again, so that we are specific and candid as to what we respond.
MS FILKIN: Yes. First of all, I am trying to find
out the purpose of Mr Vaz's fairly frequent visits to the foundation
to discuss matters, so I am trying to find out what he had come
for, to discuss.
MR GP HINDUJA: What do you mean by "frequent"?
MS FILKIN: How often did he come?
MR GP HINDUJA: Firstly, he never came frequently.
Normally frequently, we would say, every now and then.
MS FILKIN: Every now and then. What does that mean?
Give me an idea what that means.
MR GP HINDUJA: Whenever there were any community
events, that was the time, either we used to speak on the phone
or we used to meet. Otherwise Mr Vaz had no other business to
do with us.
MS FILKIN: So how frequently was it that you had
contact with him?
MR SP HINDUJA: Whenever there were events?
MS FILKIN: Give me an idea. Was that four times a
year or 60 times a year?
MR SP HINDUJA: It was not any set rule for every
MS FILKIN: No, of course not.
MR SP HINDUJA: You see, we could give you examples
for last year or this last couple of years, you had three or four.
We had this Balaji temple, we had this 3rd November event.
MR GP HINDUJA: We had a reception for the Lord Chancellor.
We had this Concordia projectwhenever there were events
or any queries from the Asian community.
MS FILKIN: He would come to the foundation to discuss
MR GP HINDUJA: No, not necessarily to the foundation.
MS FILKIN: Sometimes you would do it by phone?
MR GP HINDUJA: We would speak on the phone also,
MS FILKIN: But he would come to the foundation sometimes?
MR GP HINDUJA: Yes, of course.
MS FILKIN: Take me through this drafting of speeches.
Whom was he drafting speeches for?
MR SP HINDUJA: I would not say there was drafting.
I would not say drafting of speeches.
MR GP HINDUJA: She is referring to what David Broad
MR SP HINDUJA: You see, as and when this event was
there, the problems of the people were there. I would
always take views and suggestions from people who
would know the Asian community.
MR GP HINDUJA: Different community members.
MR SP HINDUJA: That is how I would like to see how
best I can put it across in my speech.
MS FILKIN: He would make suggestions about that?
MR SP HINDUJA: He may be one of the persons whom
I would consult.
MS FILKIN: I have a few more questions.
MR GP HINDUJA: By 11.30 we can be off?
MS FILKIN: I hope so, yes.
MR GP HINDUJA: Take for an example Scotland Yard,
it had problems with the Asian community understanding and what
was happening in the Asian areas. The CSP, the Jewish community,
has this society together, they have made a good thing, they work
and they liaise directly with Scotland Yard, they liaise with
different people. They wanted us, as the leaders of the community,
to join hands with them so that it becomes more easy. We had invited
the Police Commissioner, and we wanted different views, so naturally
we would speak with all our MPs, including Keith Vaz, about -----
MS FILKIN: Advice?
MR GP HINDUJA: What they think, yes, because we did
not want to put anything to the Police Commissioner which was
MS FILKIN: Absolutely, and I fully understand the
wisdom of doing it.
MR GP HINDUJA: For example, he says these things
cannot be removed, there is a proportion of the Asian community
and the Asian community does not want to join the police force,
so I said it has to be attractive for them to come in.
MS FILKIN: Right. Perhaps I can ask if, when you
get back to your business, you could ask Mr Broad to let me know
precisely whether any research facilities were provided at all?
MR GP HINDUJA: No, we did not.
MR SP HINDUJA: We can tell you clearly, if there
was one, I would know.
MS FILKIN: Yes, I see. I have had other allegations
concerning that gifts were given to Mr and Mrs Vaz that related
to the help that they gave on various fronts. Could you take me
through now the nature of your relationships and dealings with
Miss Maria Fernandes?
MR GP HINDUJA: Firstly, no gifts or any services
were given. We have not known Maria Fernandes"us"
being myselfthat well. The head of our legal department.
Professor Marchant is the one who had known her as an expert on
MS FILKIN: Yes.
MR GP HINDUJA: And we must have met her at social
events. Whenever we invited Mr and Mrs Vaz, she used to be with
MS FILKIN: So you say that your head of legal affairs
would have had professional contact with her. Did you ever, or
did he ever, provide gifts to her for payment for work which she
did on legal matters?
MR GP HINDUJA: Firstly, he would not have given gifts,
because he is not authorised to do it. Secondly, in his days no
services of Maria Fernandes were given to any of the group members.
MS FILKIN: I understand that at one time you had,
a member of your household, a servant called, I think, M. Does
that name mean anything to you?
MR GP HINDUJA: I will make your life easy.
MS FILKIN: Thank you.
MR GP HINDUJA: The
total operations done, the transactions done by Maria Fernandes
MS FILKIN: Thank you.
MR GP HINDUJA: You had referred in your letter so
I thought it was our duty to see what it was. There was one for
the extension of a nanny, where I think she was paid £228.
The other one was for software.
MS FILKIN: That is somebody in your firm.
MR GP HINDUJA: Yes. There was an invoice for £1,400
MS FILKIN: Yes.
MR GP HINDUJA: The third one again a domestic servant,
where she got £600 odd. Again, the fourth one, also, was
-- £282, £648 and £743.
MS FILKIN: Is it possible for me to have a copy of
MR GP HINDUJA: No problem, I will give you a copy
of it, yes.
MS FILKIN: Turning to the computer software person,
I have been informed, and I would like to check with you whether
there is any truth in this, that the computer technician himself
refused to pay Miss Fernandes a fee of £2,400, her usual
fee for arranging such matters, and that she had to seek the assistance
of one or other of you to ensure that that cheque was paid; is
MR GP HINDUJA: This is totally absurd because he
had not to pay the money, the company had to pay the money. So,
I think that is the media.
MS FILKIN: I am more than happy to have that put
right. Going back to my questions, the person who I have had referred
to me as M, is that one of those people on there?
MR GP HINDUJA: Again, that is the wrong information.
MS FILKIN: We talked about a lady servant, was that
MR GP HINDUJA: Yes, she is a maid to my wife.
MS FILKIN: A maid, yes.
MS FILKIN: Did Miss Fernandes assist Mrs SH with
MR GP HINDUJA: Totally wrong.
MS FILKIN: No, so that did not happen.
MR GP HINDUJA: It did not.
MS FILKIN: Going back to this person called M, do
you have a member of your staff with that name?
MR GP HINDUJA: Yes, he is there.
MS FILKIN: Is it correct that he has regularly visited
the home of Mr and Mrs Vaz?
MR GP HINDUJA: I think that is totally wrong.
MS FILKIN: Has he ever been there?
MR GP HINDUJA: I can check it. At home you mean?
MS FILKIN: Their home in north London. The allegation
that I had was that he did visit there fairly frequently to deliver
flowers and food.
MR GP HINDUJA: Firstly, let me tell you, he is a
director of the company. He would never go with flowers and food
to Maria. This is a newspaper gimmick.
MS FILKIN: Did the company or the foundation, again
I stress there would be nothing improper about this, I do not
want to imply there is anything improper, did the company provide
Mr and Mrs Vaz with flowers and food from time to time?
MR GP HINDUJA: So far as we are concerned no food
has ever been supplied.
MS FILKIN: What about flowers?
MR GP HINDUJA: So far as the flowers are concerned
we do not recollect, maybe at the wedding time in 1993, so I do
not want to say yes or no.
MS FILKIN: That was not a regular event.
MR GP HINDUJA: No, not at all. We may be famous for
giving Diwali sweets, our new year sweets. But not flowers; that
is more a western culture.
MS FILKIN: Yes, absolutely. How often did you or
your business interests or the foundation invite Mr and, as you
said from time to time, Mrs Vaz to attend functions or receive
MR GP HINDUJA: Firstly, I do not recollect we have
ever invited them as the two of them and us.
MS FILKIN: Yes.
MR GP HINDUJA: When there have been social events
along with other MPs they have been there.
MS FILKIN: As far as you know that is the only hospitality.
MR GP HINDUJA: Yes.
MR GP HINDUJA: Many a times these are contributed
by the community.
MS FILKIN: Yes. We have talked about flowers and
we have talked about food. I obviously need to ask you a general
question for the record.
MR GP HINDUJA: Chocolates!
MS FILKIN: No. Just a general question, have you
provided any other benefits of any kind to Mr and/or Mrs Vaz,
other than the sums of money that you have talked about that you
paid Mrs Vaz for professional services?
MR GP HINDUJA: SP and GP has not paid. For the services
rendered to our legal department those have been paid.
MS FILKIN: Of course, I understand. That, I am sure
you are pleased to hear, is all of the questions I have for you.
I ought to ask you a final question, which is, is there anything
else that you think it would be helpful for me to know so that
I have a full picture of Mr Vaz's contacts and interchange with
you or, indeed, with the company Mapesbury Communications or Miss
Fernandes' contact with you? Is there anything else?
MR GP HINDUJA: I can assure you to the best of our
knowledge, recollection and what we found from our companies there
was nothing else. Even this, we would not have gone into the legal
department, we would not have because we use at least 13 or 14
law firms here.
MS FILKIN: I am sure.
MR GP HINDUJA: * * *
MS FILKIN: Thank you. I see. Before we finish is
there anything I can tell you about this process?
MR SP HINDUJA: We would be very happy to know what
the process is.
MS FILKIN: The process is, as I say, I am investigating
these complaints. Mr Vaz, as you know, has been unwell, you will
know that from the newspapers. When he is better he will himself
be replying to all my questions but in the meantime my job is
to contact all of the people who have in any way been named in
any of these allegations to ask them for their account of matters.
That is what I have done this morning. When I have done all of
the that and when I have heard from Mr Vaz in detail I then have
to write a report, putting all that together for the Standards
and Privileges Committee, and I present that to them. It is unlikely
that that will happen now until October, simply because Parliament
is going home for the summer on 20th July and they have not as
yet, since the new government was elected, appointed those committees.
Practically that is likely to mean that I will not be able to
present any report to the Committee until October. When it goes
to the Committee the Committee's job is to scrutinise what I have
done and to make sure that they are happy with that. If they choose
they might ask people to come before them. They only tend to do
that if they feel it would assist them in hearing directly from
the people concerned. Often, usually, their usual practice is
to ask the Member of Parliament to appear before them, but they
do not always ask other people to appear, but they can do that.
That is one of the things they can do. That is a situation which,
what I have done to make a request to you, and I am grateful to
you for complying with it, they, of course, have powers to call
people. The House of Commons have those powers. If that should
come to pass you would be told about it and informed about it
and the clerk to the Committee would invite you to come and see
them. I cannot say whether or not the Committee would choose to
do that because that is always entirely their own decision. When
all of that has happened the Committee then publishes its report
on the complaints that have been made against the Member of Parliament.
That report has their view about the complaints and whether they
should be upheld or not. Behind that report and published at the
same time is my report on the investigations that I made, and
that is all published. The Committee's final job, having come
to the conclusion about whether the Member of Parliament has broken
any of Parliament's rules or has not, if the Member of Parliament
has broken any of Parliament's rules then it is that Committee
that makes a recommendation to the House of Commons for any penalty.
It is the House of Commons that decides on penalties. The report
is debated and everybody in the House of Commons can say what
they like about the report and the House of Commons decides whether
or not the recommendation from the Committee should be carried
out. Those recommendations, most usually if there is penalty,
are that the Member should apologise to the House of Commons.
That is the most usual thing that happens. Occasionally the Committee
says that the member should be suspended. Last year they recommended
the suspension of one member, Mrs Teresa Gorman, for a month and
she was therefore suspended from the House of Commons for a month.
MR GP HINDUJA: Those are the sort of penalties. They
can be stripped from the MP seat also?
MS FILKIN: They could be, but the House of Commons
is always very, very loathe to do that I am certainly not
investigating allegations of that severity because the
House of Commons think that is the voters' decision. It is the
voters who put the MP in and it is the voters who should have
the chance to get rid of somebody. They will suspend people, but
a months' suspension, which they gave to that other MP, was regarded
as a very severe penalty.
MR GP HINDUJA: It is a slap.
MS FILKIN: It is very severe because the constituents
are not represented during that month. The person is humiliated
and gets a lot of bad publicity and they get no pay during that
period of time, so it is like a fine, but, what the House of Commons
worries about is that the public in that constituency are not
represented during that time.
MR GP HINDUJA: They understand that next time you
would want their votes.
MS FILKIN: Of course. That, I hope, tells you the
situation. You are welcome to ring me at any time to find out
what is happening and where it has got to.
MR GP HINDUJA: We are entitled to do that.
MS FILKIN: I will make sure you know where I have
got to with my inquiry. Once it gets into the hands of Committee
the clerk gives you such information.
MR SP HINDUJA: Until such time as the report is given
to the Committee and published, between now and then this remains
MS FILKIN: It remains with me.
MR SP HINDUJA: It does not go anywhere.
MS FILKIN: It is my responsibility. I tell nothing
to the Committee and I tell nothing to anybody else and in spite
of what anybody may say I never tell the press anything.
MR GP HINDUJA: This is just a thought. You have understood
our role, you have understood our relationship.
MS FILKIN: Yes, you have been very open with me,
MR GP HINDUJA: Is it possible that in this transcript
we stick to questions and answers rather than the rest of the
MS FILKIN: You can make that request to me.
MR GP HINDUJA: In any case it is going to be printed.
MS FILKIN: You can make that request to me and I
will consider that request. You can also, even if I decide that
I do need to give some of that background to the Committee, so
that the Committee understands it, you can also make a request
to the Committee that they do not publish some of it.
MR GP HINDUJA: Is it possible to do that?
MS FILKIN: You can make the request.
MR GP HINDUJA: Okay.
MS FILKIN: I have to tell you that they do remove
some items if they think people are being malicious to somebody
else or they undermine another person with no basis, but by and
large they do not do it for the rest of the information.
MS DUNCAN: If we make the request to you.
MS FILKIN: I will make sure the Committee knows.
MS DUNCAN: It is the Committee that makes the decision,
MS FILKIN: No, I have to make a decision as to what
MR SP HINDUJA: She can decide what should be in the
report to the Committee or not.
MS FILKIN: I make that decision.
MS DUNCAN: That is fine.
MS FILKIN: If I decide that if some of the things
you requested should come out and I feel that I cannot comply
with your request because I need to give the Committee that so
that they understand it there is, if you like, another bite of
the cherry because the Committee themselves can be asked to remove
things prior to publication. What I do not want to do is to make
you feel that either I or they will necessarily feel able to comply
with it. What they have to remind themselves of, as I do, my job
is to fully inform the Committee, and their job is to remember
that the public interest is overriding, and they are always very
careful about that.
MR SP HINDUJA: Good.
MS DUNCAN: How long before we get the transcripts?
MS FILKIN: You will probably get them this week.
MR GP HINDUJA: And a copy of the tape?
MS FILKIN: If you would correct them and let me have
them back. Can I have a copy of that note?
MR GP HINDUJA: I personally have no problem in handing
this over, but we were also not given by the legal department
because they said we were not supposed to disclose our relationship
with the solicitor; is that such a law?
MS FILKIN: You can disclose exactly what you wish.
It is your affair what you disclose, and I have asked you to disclose
MS DUNCAN: The concern here is
MR GP HINDUJA: They have given this to me for my
personal information with "strictly private and confidential"
and they said that we cannot reveal this to anybody against ---
MS DUNCAN: The company is concerned about waving
privilege over the information because neither GP or SP have any
actual connection with the company, it is not their company, they
are not directors or shareholders.
MR GP HINDUJA: That is the problem, neither I am
the director or a shareholder and it becomes, they say, unlawful
on our part if we are disclosing this. We want it to be helpful
to you. Why don't you jot it down.
MS FILKIN: What I could do is write to the company
for it. The company would then either provide it to me at my request
or they would have to provide it to the Committee if the Committee
asked for it. We can go through that if we wish to.
MS DUNCAN: I think the best thing is that the company
is probably happy to give limited waiver in relation to this information,
not a full waiver. It is okay, GP.
MR GP HINDUJA: In any case we are here to help. All
of the wrong perceptions in the media are wrong things which have
come, at least you will be clear.
MS DUNCAN: I have another copy.
MS FILKIN: I am grateful to you. I am just doing
MR GP HINDUJA: I do not think there is anything to
hide. May we also request that anything you recommend to the Committee,
if at all, as much as possible of this meeting we would like to
leave it confidential --
MS FILKIN: I am afraid I cannot do that
MR GP HINDUJA:-- until the time.
MS FILKIN: Certainly, it is totally confidential.
Nothing in our discussion today will be disclosed by this office
to anybody other than to the Committee when the time comes. Absolutely.
I am very grateful to you both. Thank you taking for taking the
time. As I say, if there is anything that worries you or that
you see or somebody says to you that in any way relates do ring
up and find out and we will tell you.
MR GP HINDUJA: Nothing worries us.
MS FILKIN: You know what people are like, the media
say things, other people say things. Please, if it is about this
office or about my role get on the phone or get your office on
the phone, I will give you the facts.
Corrected by Messrs GP and SP Hinduja, August
173 Messrs GP & SP Hinduja subsequently provided
the following information:
Mr Vaz's letter to Mr Mandelson concerned
the Concordia project for which the Hinduja Foundation had sought
funding from the New Millenium Commission ("NMEC").
After the NMEC turned down the request for funding Mr Vaz wrote
to Mr Mandelson requesting that it be considered as part of the
projects for the Dome (see paras 7.5 and 8.2 of the Hammond Report). Back
Messrs Hinduja request that this section be omitted for reasons
of confidentiality. Back
Messrs Hinduja request that from this point the transcript should
end since it is an explanation of the process. Back