Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner
for Standards from Mr Andrew Lansley CBE MP
In the Third Report of the Committee on Standards
and Privileges, in paragraph 101 of that Report, it is recorded
that Mapesbury Communications Ltd was established by Mr Keith
Vaz with the objective of supporting his work with the Asian Community
and to receive his income from the Annual Calendar together with
all income he received from outside Parliament.
Paragraph 107 notes that Mr Vaz's Register entries
have never contained any reference to Mapesbury Communications
Pursuant to your investigations, I further note that
you asked a number of questions of Mr Vaz in your letter of 14
March 2000 (Annex 18 of Volume III). Question 6 related to an
allegation, inter alia, that Mr Vaz had failed to register a substantial
donation from the Hinduja Brothers.
In his reply, Mr Vaz told you, "no donation
has ever been made by the Hinduja Brothers".
Paragraph 57 of the Committee's Report further records
that Ms Fernandes showed the Chairman and the Clerk of the Committee
a list of the sources of payments of £1000 or more into Mapesbury
The accounts of the Hinduja Foundation, as supplied
to the Charity Commissioners for the year 1995 record, under a
heading 'Vaswani Lecture and Reception' which includes five other
lesser payments, shows a payment of £1196.10 to Mapesbury
Communications Ltd on 6 July 1995. I enclose a copy of these Accounts.
The Hinduja Foundation was wholly controlled by three
Hinduja brothers, Trustees of the Foundation. In 1995, Mapesbury
Communications Ltd was a potential source of revenue to support
Mr Vaz's Parliamentary Office (although he denies deriving any
benefit from this source).
I am writing to ask if you will investigate this
aspect of Mr Vaz's conduct, since the payment from the Hindujas
Foundation in 1995 to Mapesbury Communications Ltd, could have
given rise to a benefit to Mr Vaz and should therefore have been
In my view, Members of Parliament, in order to meet
their obligations under the Register of Members' Interests and
Code of Conduct, should not only provide full and accurate answers
to questions posed by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
or the Committee, but should strive not to provide answers that
could be misleading to the Committee. On the face of it, Mr Vaz's
reply to you was accurate only on the basis that the Hinduja Foundation
is not interpreted as the Hinduja brothers; that Mr Vaz did not,
and could not have benefited from the payments to Mapesbury Communications
Ltd, or that the transaction was irrelevant since the payment
solely reimbursed costs incurred and did not include any element
or profit payment in respect of Mr Vaz's own time. All of these
are arguable propositions or unsubstantiated.
The failure to provide sufficient information regarding
this payment, either in Mr Vaz's letter to you, or as information
supplied about Mapesbury Communications Ltd, could have had the
capacity to mislead, or to frustrate the purpose of your investigations
and so, therefore, I would also ask you to examine whether this
constitutes a matter which should be reported to the Committee.
19 March 2001