Thursday, October 28

Keith Vaz Stands Down Over Sex Allegations



Keith Vaz is to stand aside as Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee following allegations in a Sunday newspaper.

Select Committee member Naz Shah, who has spoken to Keith Vaz, has told Sky News that he has done the right thing by standing aside as chair.

Mr Vaz has not resigned completely but temporarily as he speaks to his lawyer and other members of the committee.

The married Labour MP allegedly paid for sex with two male prostitutes and offered to pay for a class A drug, according to the Sunday Mirror.

In a statement to Sky News he said: It is deeply disturbing that a national newspaper should have paid individuals to have acted in this way.

I have referred these allegations to my solicitor Mark Stephens of Howard Kennedy who will consider them carefully and advise me accordingly.

In a previous statement, issued to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Vaz 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.

Mr Vaz has been the Labour MP for Leicester since 1987 and chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee for 10 years.

In July, the Home Affairs Select Committee issued a report saying that soliciting by sex workers should be decriminalised.

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 position is a matter for him and the House.

Former culture secretary John Whittingdale said that Keith Vaz’s reported resignation seemed “sensible.

I haven’t read the whole of the allegations and therefore it’s difficult to comment on them,” he told Sky News’s Murnaghan programme.

But Keith Vaz as I understand it is that he will stand aside from the chairmanship of the select committee.

Given the areas of which the committee is responsible, that does seem to me to be a sensible course of action. I wouldn’t want to comment beyond that.