Indian-born MP seeks inquiry into himself

September 22nd, 2008 - 6:08 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 22 (IANS) Keith Vaz, the longest-serving British MP of Indian origin, has offered himself for an official inquiry after a week of charges that he used his influence to try and intervene in a court case, newspapers reported Monday.Vaz, who chairs the influential parliamentary committee on home affairs, is alleged to have written to the High Court in June about a court case in which the defence lawyer was a friend of his, newspapers said.

Miresekendari, a high-profile lawyer, was reported to have been on the brink of losing the case with the prospect of having to pay court costs.

British newspapers have given differing accounts of Vaz’s letter - while some said he had sought a delay in proceedings, another said he had sought a review.

The letter was written jointly by Vaz and another Indian-born Labour MP, Virendra Sharma, but Sharma said at the weekend: “I was not told by Keith that he had a relationship with this man. If I had been told of this, it would have changed the way that I viewed this letter.”

Newspapers reported Monday that Vaz has now reported himself to the parliament’s commissioner for standards over the allegations believing that was “the best way to deal with it”.

Vaz, who is reported to be under pressure to give up the chair of the home affairs committee, has told colleagues he was confident he would be cleared by any investigation, the Daily Telegraph reported.

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