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Friday, 8 February, 2002, 12:55 GMT
Timeline: Keith Vaz
Leicestershire East MP Keith Vaz
Keith Vaz: Faces one-month Commons suspension
Keith Vaz was elected MP for Leicester East in 1987, and became the first Asian minister in the Commons in 1999. But his recent career has been dogged by accusations of financial wrongdoing.


February 2000: Parliamentary standards watchdog Elizabeth Filkin is asked to investigate allegations of undisclosed payments to Mr Vaz from businessmen in his constituency.

25 January 2001: Opposition MPs begin to question the role the minister for Europe may have played in helping the billionaire Indian Hinduja brothers - linked with a corruption probe in India - to secure UK passports.

26 January 2001: Prime Minister Tony Blair backs Mr Vaz on the Hinduja affair, saying he does not believe he has done anything wrong.

4 February 2001: Allegations in Sunday newspapers of financial irregularities in the funds of Mr Vaz's local Leicestershire East Labour Party.

Opposition MPs call for him to resign, but he is supported by several government ministers.

12 March 2001: The Filkin report clears him of nine of 18 allegations of various financial wrongdoings.

Elizabeth Filkin
Elizabeth Filkin accused Mr Vaz of obstructing her inquiries
But he is criticised for blocking her investigation into eight of the allegations.

And he is censured for one allegation - failing to register two payments worth 450 in total from Sarosh Zaiwalla, a solicitor whom he recommended for an honour several years later.

14 March 2001: William Hague, the then Conservative leader, calls on Mr Blair to sack Mr Vaz.

21 March 2001: Mrs Filkin announces a new inquiry, focusing on whether or not a company connected to Mr Vaz received a donation from a charitable foundation run by the Hinduja brothers.

29 March 2001: Mr Vaz collapses while filming a television interview, and goes on extended sick leave.

5 June 2001: A BBC investigation suggests Mr Vaz did not disclose all his property interests to Mrs Filkin's previous inquiry.

11 June 2001: Mrs Filkin says she is widening her Vaz-Hinduja inquiry to cover the disclosure of property interests.

12 June 2001: Mr Vaz resigns and is replaced as Minister for Europe in the post-General Election reshuffle.

8 February 2002: The second Filkin inquiry rules Mr Vaz should be suspended for one month for "serious breaches" of the MPs' code of conduct, and a contempt of the House of Commons.

See also:

08 Feb 02 | UK Politics
Vaz faces Commons suspension
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