The judge at the centre of a rent boy scandal has been formally suspended.

Judge Gerald Price QC, 60, who is married with two children, reportedly had a nine-month relationship with 25-year-old prostitute Christopher Williams, allowing him to sit in court and see confidential documents.

Williams told the News of the World Price, a senior circuit judge in Swansea, Cardiff and Carmarthen, had helped him avoid a criminal charge for being drunk on a train and had taken him on official business, staying in hotels together.

He said they had met through an escort website.

Price has now been suspended by Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge and Lord Chancellor Jack Straw. A formal investigation into the allegations is now underway.

A statement from the Office for Judicial Complaints said: “Having considered the allegations against Judge Price, the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor have decided that he should be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation by the Office for Judicial Complaints into his conduct.”

Williams said: “What Gerald did was dangerous. His business was truth but he lived a lie. He was at real risk of being blackmailed. Imagine the power a criminal could wield over a judge with info like this.”

He claimed the pair met for sex frequently over the nine months. The relationship came to an end when Price reportedly proposed to Williams.

Williams said he challenged the judge to leave his wife and then phoned her to tell her of the relationship.