Labour MP ‘should be suspended over willingness to buy cocaine’

pCloud Premium

Labour MP Keith Vaz should be suspended for six months for “expressing willingness to purchase cocaine for another person”, according to parliament’s sleaze watchdog.

The standards committee found he had committed a “very serious breach” of the Commons code of conduct over an incident first reported in September 2016.

MPs will now have to vote on whether to enforce the recommended action. If they do, it could trigger the process for constituents of the Leicester East MP to unseat him and force a by-election.

The parliamentary investigation was launched after the Sunday Mirror claimed more than three years ago that Mr Vaz paid two male escorts for sex and offered to buy cocaine for others to use.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: A view across the River Thames to the Houses of Parliament on September 25, 2019 in London, England. Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled that the Government's prorogation of Parliament was unlawful. Parliament re-convened this morning at 11.30am cutting short both the Labour Conference and the Prime Minister's trip to the United Nations General Assembly. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Image: The standards committee called some of his defences ‘ludicrous’

A recording of their conversation also shows the men discussing “poppers” and “weed”.

Mr Vaz claimed he met the two men “to discuss the interior decoration of his flat” and that he may have been given a “spiked drink” but declined to comment on details “on grounds of the medical condition of amnesia”.

The standards committee said that was “not believable and, indeed, ludicrous”.

More from Politics

It found he had failed to “cooperate fully” with the inquiry and “caused significant damage of the reputation and integrity” of the Commons.

Mr Vaz was a highly influential MP as chair of the home affairs select committee, which includes oversight of government drugs policy, but left the role in September 2016.

Kathryn Stone, the commissioner for standards, dismissed allegations Mr Vaz had any involvement in the use of drugs relevant to the home affairs select committee’s then-inquiry into psychoactive substances.

But she did rule he had shown “apparent willingness to purchase controlled drugs for others to use”.

“He has failed, repeatedly, to answer direct questions; he has given incomplete answers and his account has, in parts, been incredible,” Ms Stone added.

A statement on his website posted on Monday said: “Keith Vaz has been treated for a serious mental-health condition for the last three years as a result of the events of 27 August 2016.

“He has shared all the medical reports in confidence with the committee.

“He has nothing further to say on this matter other than what was said in his oral and written statements to the committee and to the commissioner.”

Labour MP Keith Vaz should be suspended over ‘willingness to purchase cocaine’ – parliament committee

Labour MP Keith Vaz should be suspended for six months for “expressing willingness to purchase cocaine for another person”, parliament’s standards committee has recommended.

pCloud Premium

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.