Indian-born Labour MP Vaz probed by Westminster sleaze watchdog

October 3rd, 2008 - 2:46 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct.3 (ANI): Former British Labour minister Keith Vaz, who is of Indian origin, is being probed by a Westminster sleaze watchdog over claims that he tried to interfere in a court case.
John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, says that he has received a complaint that the former Europe Minister may have breached the MPs” code of conduct.
According to The Times, the inquiry follows press reports that Vaz wrote to the High Court asking it to delay proceedings in a case involving Shahrokh Mireskandari, an Iranian-born solicitor.
The MP was said to have failed to declare that he was a personal friend of Dr. Mireskandari, who was challenging an order to pay six-figure costs relating to a disputed business deal.
Mireskandari himself has categorically denied the allegations and is suing the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard for libel, saying that it is untrue that he asked Vaz inappropriately to “sway [the] judge” in a case involving his firm.
A number of fellow MPs have nonetheless publicly expressed concern over the alleged conduct of Vaz, who is chairman of the backbench Home Affairs Committee.
Vaz is also said to deny any wrongdoing.
In a statement, the Commissioner’’s office said: “The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has received a complaint against Mr. Keith Vaz in respect of the allegations made in recent weeks in press reports which allege that he may have breached the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament and its associated rules. The Commissioner has decided to initiate an inquiry on the basis of the complaint he has received.
“The Commissioner will conduct his inquiry on the basis of his normal procedures.” (ANI)

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