MP Keith Vaz’s wife Maria Fernandes, of Fernandes Vaz Solicitors, has won a second libel action against Associated Newspapers.
Fernandes’s action arose from a Mail on Sunday article on 3 June 2001, headlined “Revealed: Vaz aide’s passport dossier” and carrying the standfirst “Mrs Vaz helped fraud charge banker”.
The article alleged Fernandes had bypassed procedures for British passport applications to enable a client facing a criminal prosecution for fraud to obtain a passport.
It also alleged that Fernandes had lied to a parliamentary inquiry with regard to the filing of a company’s accounts.
In a statement in open court read on Wednesday at the Royal Courts of Justice, before Mr Justice Gray, the newspaper accepted that Fernandes had not acted improperly in her representation of her client and had not lied to the parliamentary inquiry about the filing of the company’s accounts. Associated has agreed to pay Fernandes substantial damages and her legal costs.