Vaz under fire for ‘expediting’ Modi’s UK travel papers
According to a ‘Sunday Times’ probe, Vaz personally wrote to Sarah Rapson, the director-general of UK visas and immigration, in an effort to expedite the case of London-based Modi, former commissioner of Indian Premier League cricket tournament.
Vaz was then chairman of the influential House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee in which role he was required to scrutinise and hold to account the work of Rapson and her department, the newspaper points out.
However, Vaz has denied any wrongdoing or conflict of interest and?said he had treated Modi’s case the same as others who sought his help. Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen has now written to Kathryn Hudson, the UK parliamentary standards commissioner, urging her to investigate whether Vaz had breached the MPs’ code of conduct.
In a leaked correspondence seen by ‘The Sunday Times’, Vaz offered to help with the immigration case of Modi, a controversial multimillionaire who has been investigated by Indian tax authorities in the past. Modi came to London in 2010 amid claims that the IPL cricket tournament was embroiled in alleged match-fixing and illegal betting.
His Indian passport was later revoked, leaving him grounded in the UK. Modi has always denied any wrongdoing and says he left India for Britain because of death threats. Shortly after he received his UK travel documents last summer after a lengthy legal battle with the UK Home Office, Modi described Vaz as a “superstar”.
Vaz has said Modi’s case was one of “hundreds” he had raised with the Home Office on behalf of individuals where he felt there was a wider problem with the immigration <g data-gr-id="23">system in this case</g> a delay in the issuing of travel papers.