Keith Vaz MP faces suspension for ‘willingness’ to buy cocaine

Mr Vaz claimed he had been given a 'spiked drink'

Monday, October 28, 2019

Labour MP Keith Vaz is facing a six-month suspension from the House of Commons, after he was found to have “expressed willingness” to buy cocaine for others.

The Commons Standards Committee, which recommended the suspension, said the finding showed a “very serious breach” of the House's code of conduct for MPs.

The complaint against Mr Vaz, who was chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, came after a 2016 newspaper article claimed he had met two men for paid-for sex in his London flat.

One of the men secretly recorded the encounter, during which the MP for Leicester reportedly offered to purchase illegal drugs for a third person to use.

By way of explanation, Mr Vaz said the men were there to discuss the redecoration of the flat and that he may have been given a “spiked drink”  - which the committee dismissed as “not believable and, indeed, ludicrous”.

The inquiry was subject to repeated delays due to the 2017 election, Mr Vaz’s ill health and two referrals to the Metropolitan Police - who on each occasion decided not to proceed with a criminal investigation.

The Commons Standards Committee said that Mr Vaz’s failure to co-operate fully with the Commons inquiry process showed “disrespect for the House's standards system” and caused “significant damage” to the reputation and integrity of the Commons as a whole.

It claimed he had “done his best to complicate, obfuscate and confuse the inquiry”.

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.

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