Labour MP Keith Vaz is set to be suspended for six months after he was caught paying for sex while the chair of the Home Affairs select committee.
The ban, for causing “significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons”, would trigger a recall petition, which could lead to a by-election.
The Committee on Standards report published today comes three years after he was exposed as paying for the services of male escorts. He was also found to have “expressed a willingness to procure a Class A drug, cocaine, for the use of another person”.
According to the report Vaz told investigators that he was in faxct “discussing the redecoration of his flat”. He also claimed to have “suffered memory loss as to the incident, and argues that he may have been given a spiked drink”.
But the report rubbished this explanation as “unbelievable and, indeed, ludicrous”.
He also tried to argue that the covert audio-recording, and the transcript subsequently supplied by the Sunday Mirror, were “not to be relied upon for purposes of the inquiry”.
Not only did he show “disregard for the law”, the report argued that in failing to cooperate with the inquiry, Vaz also “showed disrespect for the House’s standards system”.
“The Committee considers this a very serious breach of the Code, and recommends that the House should suspend Mr Vaz from its service for six months,” the report said.
“Such a suspension would trigger the provisions of the Recall of MPs Act. It further recommends that if Mr Vaz ceases to be an MP, he should not be eligible for a former Member’s pass.”
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