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Labour MP Keith Vaz to be suspended after offering to buy cocaine for male prostitutes

Nick Duffy October 28, 2019
Labour MP Keith Vaz claims he has suffered amnesia about the incident

Labour MP Keith Vaz claims he has suffered amnesia about the incident (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Labour MP Keith Vaz told parliament’s standards commissioner that he held a late-night meeting with two male prostitutes to get advice about interior decoration.

The MP for Leicester East was outed by a Sunday Mirror sting in 2016, when the newspaper revealed he had sex with two male sex workers and offered to reimburse them if they bought cocaine.

Labour MP ‘breached code’ by offering to buy drugs for male prostitutes.

A long-awaited report from Parliament’s Standards Committee, published on Monday, ruled that Vaz had breached conduct rules and recommended a six-month suspension.

The report states: “We have found that Mr Vaz acted in breach of paragraph 16 of the 2015 House of Commons Code of Conduct.

“By expressing willingness to purchase a Class A drug, cocaine, for others to use, thereby showing disregard for the law, and by failing to co-operate fully with the inquiry process, thereby showing disrespect for the House’s standards system, he has caused significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons as a whole.

“This is a very serious breach of the Code. We recommend that the House should suspend Mr Vaz from its service for six months.”

booked a meeting with two male prostitutes at 11:30pm to discuss interior decoration
Keith Vaz says he booked a meeting with two male prostitutes at 11:30pm to discuss interior decoration (OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Keith Vaz claims meeting was about ‘interior decoration’.

Vaz continues to deny he knew the men were male prostitutes, and clams “the purpose of his encounter with the two men was not to engage in paid-for sex but to discuss the interior decoration of his flat”.

Asked why he would be meeting an interior decorator at 11:30pm, Vaz told the standards commissioner “that his busy schedule means that he often arranges working meetings during the
evening”.

Vaz also told the standards commissioner that he does not recall any details of the meeting due to amnesia.

An audio recording of the encounter supplied to parliament by the Sunday Mirror included no discussion of painting or decorating, but does includde Vaz lamenting of another man: “He forgot the condom though… I had to f*** him without a condom.”

The report states: “Despite the many pages of material and multiple arguments produced by Mr Vaz, no reasonable person who has listened to the audio recording of that incident or read the transcript could believe his claim that the purpose of the two men’s visit was to discuss interior decoration.

“Not only was that subject not mentioned at any point in the conversation, but Mr Vaz adopted an assumed name and claimed not to be the owner of the flat but merely the friend of the owner.”

It adds: “Mr Vaz’s claims as to the purpose of the encounter are, frankly, ludicrous.”

If the MP’s six-month suspension is agreed by the House, it would allow his constituents to begin the process of attempting to recall him.

More: House of Commons, Keith Vaz, Labour, mp

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