Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fifth Report

Annex ii5B

Information provided by Mr Vyan Gresty, 15 February 2001

I first met Keith Vaz 20 years ago whilst I was working for the London Borough of Haringey. That was a social occasion, and I did not meet him again until September 1998, following my wife's appointment as his wife's Personal Assistant. Initially, she worked from the family home in * * *, Middlesex, and her offices subsequently moved to Harrow. My wife was responsible for running Mrs Vaz's office, and she was the Practice Manager for Mrs Vaz's solicitor's practice.

My wife's responsibilities included dealing with telephone and personal attendances, client appointments, business transactions and organising the diary of Mrs Vaz, including those appointments and events involving Mr Vaz. My wife worked for Mrs Vaz from August 1998 until the onset of her illness in May 2000.

In addition to running the professional practice of Mrs Vaz, she was also responsible for liaising with the various organisations to which the Vaz family were associated, including the Asian Business Network and Mapesbury (a Public Relations Company).

Communications to the Asian Business Network were through a man named David Golding, at Coleridge House, 415 Coleridge Gardens, London NW6. Another contact for this company was Hanif, mobile telephone * * *.

I was engaged to play the piano at a function in the Connaught Rooms on 18th February 1999, and was paid a fee by the Asian Business Network. I believe the cheque was signed by David Golding. The grand piano was hired from Harrow Piano Works, who were paid a fee of £380 on invoice to Asian Business Network.

My wife has confirmed that Mr & Mrs Vaz worked jointly on several projects. The above function was chaired by Mr Vaz, and Mrs Vaz was the main speaker. The event was attended by members of the Cabinet and senior civil servants.

My wife's main duties were the processing of visa and passport applications from applicants from the Indian sub-continent, and the handling of applications for political asylum. She was responsible for setting up databases for clients and professional associates, and in particular the processing of applications for work permits for restaurant workers from the Indian sub-continent. She has particularly recalled handling documentation relating to a Mrs ***, and her housekeeper. She is aware that the Vaz's nanny, Mary Matin, has had difficulties obtaining documentation to remain in Britain.

15 February 2001

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