Keith Vaz stands down from influential committee following allegations

Lynsey Barber
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Keith Vaz has led the cross-party committee for nearly a decade (Source: Getty)

MP Keith Vaz will temporarily stand down from his position as the head of the influential home affairs select committee following allegations that he paid for male escorts.

The Labour MP has led the committee since 2007 and the group investigates areas such as crime, policing, drugs, immigration and extremism.

According to the report in the Sunday Mirror, the 59-year-old MP for Leicester East paid for the men to visit him at his flat in London just a week ago. It also claimed the MP offered to pay for drugs for the men.

Vaz said he had referred the allegations to his solicitor.

He has now stood aside from his role leading the cross-party group.

In a statement to the Mail on Sunday, he said: "I am genuinely sorry for the hurt and distress that has been caused by my actions in particular to my wife and children. I will be informing the committee on Tuesday of my intention to stand aside from chairing the sessions of the committee with immediate effect."

The group of MP's are currently investigating prostitution. In a report earlier this year it called for the practice to be decriminalised.

A Labour Party spokeswoman said: "Keith Vaz has issued a statement on this matter. As with all departmental select committees, Keith was elected to the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee by the House of Commons, and his is position is a matter for him and the House".

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