Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter to Ms Maria Fernandes

from the Clerk of the Committee on Standards and Privileges

The Committee on Standards and Privileges has received a report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards on the complaints made against Mr Keith Vaz.

I should emphasise that the remit of both the Commissioner and the Committee is confined to the conduct of Members of Parliament. Neither you nor your practice is under investigation. Nonetheless there are a number of passages in the Commissioner's memorandum which refer to you, and before it considers the memorandum in any detail the Committee would like to give you an opportunity to comment on those passages if you wish to do so. The relevant extracts are enclosed. I would be grateful if you could let me have any comments you wish to make by 3 January 2002.

There are in addition a number of questions to which the Committee would like answers. Some of these are questions put to you by the Commissioner, others are about information you have already volunteered to provide.

Mapesbury Communications Limited

The Committee would like:

1.  The date at which you became actively involved with Mapesbury Communications Limited and the activities it was engaged in throughout its life.

2.   A list of all events organised by Mapesbury Communications Limited, with dates, funding arrangements and locations (the Committee notes, in particular, that at your meeting with the Commissioner on 4 July 2001 you undertook to 'rack your brains' to remember at which location in central Birmingham the 'visa policy event' took place); and in particular the dates of the visa policy event and the Work Permit Conference held at the St James's Court Hotel).

3.  Details of any and all work carried out by Mapesbury Communications Limited for the Asian Business Network.

4.   The total sum represented by the list of payments you supplied to the Committee on 10 May 2001, the names and addresses of the all the organisations appearing on that list, the period it covers and the level of payment over which an entry on the list was made.

5.   The payments made by Mapesbury Communications Limited to employees and directors: if your records are unavailable, and your accountants are unable to help you, the employees and fellow directors, your bank or the Inland Revenue may be able to assist.

6.   The list of VAT payments you undertook to provide in your letter to the then Chairman of this Committee of 20 April 2001.

7.  The payments made by Mapesbury Communications Ltd to Wildberry, the printers, with dates.

Mrs Matin/Ahmed

The Committee note that on 10 September 2001 the Commissioner wrote to you to ask you to explain an apparent discrepancy in the information she had received.

On 4 July 2001, when you met the Commissioner, you said that you had not represented Mrs Mary Matin/Ahmed in any capacity. The Commissioner has been informed by the Immigration Service that Fernandes Vaz informed them that they represented Mrs Matin/Ahmed.

In your letter of 13 October 2001, you said "With regard to Mrs Matin, you have asked me to explain a discrepancy without stating what the discrepancy is. I maintain what I said at the meeting".

The Committee would be grateful if you would explain this apparent contradiction.

I would be grateful for a reply by 3 January 2001.

19 December 2001

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