Labour MP Keith Vaz “disregarded” the law by “expressing a willingness” to help buy cocaine for male prostitutes, the Commons standards body has found.
It said there was “compelling evidence” he offered to pay for a class A drug and had paid-for sex in August 2016.
It is recommending he be suspended for six months after he was “evasive and unhelpful” during the investigation.
Mr Vaz would not comment on his future but said he was receiving treatment for a serious mental health condition.
Not fit to sit and Judge
Keith Vaz, who sat in judgement on the NEC panel which cleared Chris Williamson, he then almost immediately declared the decision needed to be revisited making a complete farce of the entire proceedings.
Mr Vaz, the MP for Leicester East, claimed that he had been called in to sit on the panel at the last minute and had gone to the meeting “despite having medical treatment that day, which continued after the meeting” creating the grounds that saw Chris Williamson be unlawfully re-suspended.
However the real question should be how the morally corrupt MP Keith Vaz could ever sit in judgement over other party members let alone such an upstanding defender of socialism and the working class like Chris Williamson MP.
Consequently Chris Williamson won a high court battle the Labour party acted unlawfully in re-suspending him. unfortunately continued Blairite shenanigans meant that even thought that re-suspension was deemed null and void a further suspension was made after the Vaz
‘Vaz claims memory loss’
In a scathing report, the committee said there was “convincing evidence” that Mr Vaz was “evasive or unhelpful” during an investigation into his conduct by Commons standards commissioners Kathryn Hudson and Kathryn Stone.
The revelations, first reported by the Sunday Mirror, led to Mr Vaz standing down as chairman of the Home Affairs Select committee – which at the time was conducting an inquiry into drug policy.
The committee in particular described as “ludicrous” Vaz’s claims that the meeting, at 11.30pm on Saturday August 27 2016 at a flat he owns near his family home, was to discuss a “quick, temporary redecoration” to be completed before parliament’s return from summer recess eight days later.
His claim to have amnesia, either due to stress or a spiked drink, was also dismissed.
The committee concluded due to “compelling” evidence that the MP’s account was “not believable”, that he expressed a willingness to buy cocaine fo another person, and that he engaged in paid-for sex.
The inquiry was subject to repeated delays due to two referrals to the Metropolitan Police – who on each occasion decided not to proceed with a criminal investigation – the 2017 general election and Vaz’s ill health.
It was alleged the MP had met two men at his London flat to engage in paid-for sex, and that during this encounter – which was covertly recorded by one of the men – he offered to buy illegal drugs for a third person to use.
In her report, the commissioner said the recording “contains evidence of Mr Vaz’s apparent willingness to purchase controlled drugs for others to use”.
“While his comments regarding this may not amount to a criminal offence, he shows disregard for the law and that, in turn, is disrespectful to the House and fellow members, who collectively are responsible for making those laws.”
At the time, Mr Vaz said he had met the men to discuss the redecoration of his flat.
But the cross-party committee said Mr Vaz’s characterisation of the meeting – in which he reportedly posed as a washing machine salesman – was “not believable and ludicrous”.
The MP’s claim during the inquiry that his drink may have been spiked and that he had since suffered memory loss about the incident were “not relevant”, the report found.
The MP’s conduct in relation to illegal drugs and his behaviour during the investigation caused “significant damage” to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons, it said,
He had “failed repeatedly to answer direct questions, gave incomplete answers and an account that was, in parts, incredible” – actions which constituted a “very serious” breach of the MPs’ code of conduct.
Keith Vaz used to chair the influential Home Affairs Select Committee.
Mr Vaz has done his best to complicate, obfuscate and confuse the inquiry through arguments of little merit and documentation of dubious relevance
The committee said its aim throughout was “to establish whether the rules of the House have been complied with, not to investigate Mr Vaz’s private life or to pass judgement on issues of sexual morality”.
Mr Vaz, a former Europe minister under Tony Blair, was suspended from the Commons for one month in 2002 after being found to have obstructed a standards watchdog’s investigation into his financial affairs.
The committee said it had taken this into account in recommending the longer suspension, as well as the fact that as chair of the Home Affairs committee there was an extra onus on Mr Vaz to set a “good example” to other MPs.
A statement on the MP’s website said he had been treated for a “serious mental-health condition” for the last three years as a result of the events of August 2016.
“He has shared all the medical reports in confidence with the committee. He has nothing further to say on this matter other than what was said in his oral and written statements to the committee and to the commissioner,” the statement said.
The police declined to take action against the MP following an investigation in 2016.