Exclusive: Jones Day made $200k donation to Keith Vaz charity
31 March 2017
Jones Day donated $200,000 to a charity run by Keith Vaz while the politician was the head of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
In 2014 the US firm's charitable arm, the Jones Day Foundation, made 20 grants totalling $2.4m. All but two recipients were US causes. However, a UK charity which "seeks to educate the public about type 2 diabetes
", The Silver Star Appeal, received the Jones Day Foundation's third largest donation that year. The Silver Star Appeal was founded by Vaz who is also its patron. Income tax exemption returns filed with the IRS appear to show that Silver Star was the only UK-focused charity to have received a donation from the Jones Day Foundation in over a decade.
The Jones Day Foundation's gift, £122,131 in sterling at the time, comprised 49% of Silver Star's total income for 2014. It was so large that the following year the Jones Day Foundation gave Silver Star permission to diverge from the intended purpose of the gift and use the remaining £87,433 to "support a diabetes centre in Morocco and to help build a Diabetes Prevention Centre facility
The Jones Day Foundation's identity as the source of the gift is stated in its US income tax exemption return, known as a Form 990. In it, the Jones Day Foundation stated that its philanthropy is directed to organisations that "promote the rule of law
", "foster innovation in academics, medicine and the arts
", "improve living conditions and economic opportunities for people in impoverished settings
" or "provide support and comfort to people suffering from natural and other disasters
From the 2014 Jones Day Foundation Form 990
From the 2015 Trustees' Report
of The Silver Star Appeal:
There are other links between Jones Day and Vaz. In March 2014, Jones Day's partner in charge of Europe and the Middle East, Mary Ellen Powers, introduced President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, to speak on diversity at one of a series of talks run by Vaz called The Rainbow Lectures.
||"In conclusion: Vaz - the soap you can believe in."
Then in 2015, Jones Day gave Vaz's son work experience. According to his LinkedIn profile Cambridge University graduate Luke Vaz was a summer intern for two months at Jones Day's Paris office, and the following year he won a place on its month-long vacation scheme in London. Vaz jr also attended a vacation scheme at Latham & Watkins and subsequently accepted a training contract at the other US firm.
Vaz does not appear to have had any involvement with Jones Day since he was forced to resign from the HASC last year. The MP, who is married to a woman, quit after he was caught in a newspaper sting with rent boys. According to the Mirror,
Vaz told the male prostitutes he was a washing machine salesman called Jim. The Silver Star Appeal was set to be probed
by the Charity Commission over claims a man linked to the charity settled part of the escorts' bill.
Jones Day did not respond to emailed questions. Or to a request to donate to the Rubber Up Vaz Appeal
. But RollOnFriday can apparently expect to hear from Vaz's solicitors, Carter Ruck, if it's got anything wrong.