Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fifth Report

Annex i23

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Keith Vaz MP


Further to my letter of 6th August 2001 I have the following response to make:

17.  It appears that the BBC has placed reliance on electoral registration information which I have discovered is not accurate. I do not have copies of the electoral registration forms and I would imagine that people do not normally keep these, they either hand it to the canvassers or send it to the local office. I have therefore written to the appropriate authorities concerned to obtain as much information as possible.

18.  I wonder if you could clarify the list of names for 70 Teignmouth Road. That property which was our first matrimonial home is a converted block of flats and not a single dwelling. The persons who we sold it to when we purchased * * * are not listed, although I have asked the solicitor who dealt with the sale to check this. Would you kindly check the information you received from the BBC as there appears to be a number of office copy entries missing between the time we sold it and moved to * * * and the time it was purchased by whoever purchased it from the new owners in 1999. I assume it is one of the persons on the list. It was always described as the "garden Flat" though the BBC describe it as the "ground floor flat".

* * *

20.  Rita Gresty worked for Ms Fernandes until May 2000. I understand that she was a mental patient at Shenley hospital, and that she has been in and out of a number of mental hospitals since then. None of this information was available when she was appointed. My knowledge of these matters is not first hand but I am sure you can verify the facts. I have never met Ms Eggington who it appears only in her letter to you dated 8th June 2001 admitted Mrs Gristy's illness and only after she had apparently entered into a commercial agreement with a national newspaper and that newspaper had published an article describing Mrs Gresty as "suicidal". These matters are now the subject of legal proceedings. I am aware that Mrs Gresty instructed solicitors last year claiming unfair dismissal but I am unaware of what became of the proceedings, Ms Eggington may be able to assist you on this point. A number of calls were made to our home, one from the hospital informing us that Mrs Gresty was about to arrive at our home, and one from Ms Eggington giving us the same information.

21.  As a result of these activities I can inform you in the strictest confidence that we notified the police following threats made against * * *. We have had the benefit of a police alarm in our home in case any attempt is made by anyone involved to contact * * *.

22.  The information that Ms Eggington purports to give is both inaccurate and wrong and the "statement" that has been made by Mrs Gresty is untrue. She purports to use personal information about my eating habits etc., which has not come from anyone other than herself. In answer to your two specific questions, Mary Martin has never been employed by me or Ms Fernandes and we have always been fully aware of her status. She is and remains a friend of our family who has as a result of the actions of Ms Eggington and or Mrs Gresty had journalists posing as immigration officers and harassing Mrs Martin * * *.

23.  Can you please confirm that you have nothing further to put to me that is outstanding before I deal with my submission to you. I want to be in a position to give you full and accurate answers and can only do so if everything has been put to me that causes you concern or that you need clarified. Once I have this confirmation I shall send my comments to Geoffrey Bindman so that he can advise me of any further information that is needed and I will then submit to you whatever is outstanding. Mr Bindman may contact you direct but you have indicated that there is no problem with that.

13 August 2001

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