Letter to Mr Keith Vaz MP from the Parliamentary
Commissioner for Standards
Further to our meeting on Monday 26 March I have
received a letter from Ms Eileen Eggington supported by a signed
statement from Mrs Rita Gresty asking me to investigate possible
undisclosed financial connections between you and the Hinduja
family or Foundation. I would be grateful to receive your response
to these allegations.
You will recall that the Chairman couched his request
to you in the following terms -
"Please would you
also state whether you, or any member of your family, has received
or been associated, in any way, with any other payments or benefits
provided by the Hinduja family or their Foundation and, if so,
provide full details."
It is for this reason that I draw to your attention
all the allegations in this letter rather than those which apply
solely to you. In particular, Mrs Gresty alleges that
(1) You have been "unduly
influenced by the wealth of the Hinduja's" and as a result
your wife has been "used by the Hinduja's to highly preferential
treatment in obtaining British passports and visas". She
provides as examples
(a) that Ms Fernandes
assisted Mrs SH with her passport application in late 1999 or
early 2000 which was expedited very quickly.
(b) that Ms Fernandes assisted the Hinduja family
in acquiring a visa for a "lady servant".
(c) that a computer "boffin" who worked
for Mr Gopal Hinduja was assisted with a visa application by Ms
Fernandes. When he refused to pay her a usual fee of £2,400
for this advice, Ms Fernandes sought the assistance of Mr Gopal
Hinduja to obtain payment. The cheque was then received in full.
(2) That you received invitations (and presumably
hospitality where you accepted them) from the Hindujas.
(3) Large quantities of flowers were provided
to you by the Hinduja family.
In the statement Mrs Gresty raises the matter of
another gift from another business which Mrs Gresty says was provided
to you. This was regular provision of pre-packed frozen food.
Since this might be registerable I would be grateful to receive
details of this arrangement if Mrs Gresty's description is accurate.
28 March 2001