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


Note submitted by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards


DATED 8 JANUARY 2002[21]

Mr Vaz's response document is divided into two parts. From page 46 onwards, the response puts forward Mr Vaz's views on the complaints which I considered, the evidence, including that provided by Mr Vaz, and my analysis.

Pages 1-45 are much more wide ranging and tendentious. Along with Mr Vaz's criticisms, they contain numerous inaccuracies and apparent misunderstandings. The following are examples of the inaccuracies:

p. 10  Mr Vaz makes inaccurate statements about the age of the complaints. The Gresty complaint deals with August 1998 to May 2000 rather than being five years old, and the property complaint includes recent matters— for instance the ownership of the flat in Vanburgh Court, transferred to Mrs Vaz senior in October 2001.

p. 18  Mr Vaz refers to the list of payments to Fernandes Vaz in respect of legal work for the Hinduja brothers' business (Annex i25 page 151). Mr Vaz says 'presumably of the Hindujas or of companies associated with them—and not to the Hinduja brothers'. This list of payments was provided by the Hinduja brothers about work carried out for their business.

p. 30  My questions about 70A Teignmouth Road and its link with the Asian Business Network were not related to whether Mr Vaz sold the flat in 1997 or 1999. I was pleased to receive from him the corrected date of 1997 and included it in my memorandum (see footnote, page 109). The fact that the Asian Business Network continued to appear in reference works as based at the address after Mr Vaz sold it is much less significant. The question, still unanswered, is why it was registered there in the first place.

p. 30  Mr Vaz says that he wrote to me on 22 August 2001 asking me to confirm that I had nothing more to put to him and that I replied on 23 August saying I had not. While I did write those words, my letter (Annex IV 11 page 286) ended 'If any further information is provided to me which differs in any way from your answers I will of course put it to you so that you may respond to it before I take any view on it'.

p. 35  Mr Vaz makes comments about my record of my meeting with the Telegraph journalists on 29 March (Annex ii 21, page 181). He says 'Mrs Filkin was rather disappointed with what the Telegraph had turned up. She said 'I had the impression when this meeting was requested that considerable information was available which would be given to me. However no further information was given'. (However I am at a loss to know how she knew this on 29 March) I can only conclude that this minute was written in November and not in March as is claimed'. It is not accurate to suggest a date later than 29 March. The note of the meeting is perfectly comprehensible. I was not disappointed, this is a factual record of what occurred in the meeting which I made immediately after the meeting.

p. 50  Mr Vaz says that 'Mrs Gresty in her letter of 23 March says she had nothing to do with the company (Mapesbury) and did not mention me in that context'. So much is true. On the other hand, in her submission, forwarded by Miss Eggington, of 15 February 2001, which was provided to Mr Vaz, Mrs Gresty said that in about October 1998 she had taken minutes of a meeting held under the auspices of Mapesbury PR [Mr Vaz says there was 'no such company' but the resemblance is clear enough] at Coleridge House (memorandum, para 110, page 24). Mr Vaz accepts, at page 52 of his response, that Mrs Gresty does say she attended a meeting. On page 83 he says again that Mrs Gresty denies any involvement with Mapesbury.

p. 74  Mr Vaz suggests that Miss Eggington 'points the finger at Mrs Filkin or Mr Andrew Pearce from the Home Office ' as the source of the Mail on Sunday' (Annex IV 23 page 495). Miss Eggington merely says "The only material which could be argued to be confidential to your client and which I have ever had in my possession was passed by me to the appropriate public bodies, i.e: the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the Head of the Security & Anti-Corruption Unit, Home Office Immigration Department."

In addition, there are several serious allegations that I said things which were in fact said by Mr Vaz. The support for my version of the conversations is my contemporaneous file notes; I have therefore not listed them. The file notes are in the Annexes.

18 January 2002  Elizabeth Filkin

21   See Appendix 1. Back

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