Lord Sewel bows to pressure and quits House of Lords amid sex and drugs allegations

Emma Haslett
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In a statement this morning, Sewel apologised for the "pain and embarrassment" he had caused (Source: Getty)

Lord Sewel of Gilcomstoun has bowed to pressure and stepped down from the House of Lords after allegedly taking cocaine with a pair of £200-a-night sex workers at his apartment in Dolphin Square, in Pimlico.

In an expose by the Sun on Sunday this weekend, the paper alleged it had filmed him reclining and smoking a cigarette, wearing a leather jacket and an orange bra.

This morning, the Sun added that he had "boasted" to prostitutes about sleeping with a BBC presenter.

In a statement today, Sewel said he had written to the clerk of the parliaments terminating his membership of the House of Lords.

Apologising for the "pain and embarrassment I have caused", Sewel added:

The question of whether my behaviour breached the code of conduct is important, but essentially technical.

The bigger questions are whether my behaviour is compatible with membership of the House of Lords and whether my continued membership would damage and undermine public confidence in the House of Lords. I believe the answer to both these questions means that I can best serve the house by leaving it.
As a subordinate, second chamber the House of Lords is an effective, vital but undervalued part of our political system. I hope my decision will limit and help repair the damage I have done to an institution I hold dear.
Yesterday, officers from the Metropolitan Police searched his apartment as part of an investigation into the alleged drug taking.
After the search, a Met Police spokesperson said no arrests had been made, although police were filmed leaving his flat with several bags.
As the allegations unfolded, the pressure from fellow Lords to resign became intense.
Yesterday fellow peer Baroness Boothroyd accused him of bringing the house into "disrepute".
He has been the bad apple in this barrel. We have been trying to uphold our standards. This doesn't leave us with a very good smell. He has brought the House into some disrepute.

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