Disgraced MP Keith Vaz faces the longest Commons suspension of all time after he met two prostitutes while chairing the Home Affairs Committee and the damaging report said that the Labour grandee must face a six-month postponement from Parliament more than three years after the embarrassment was revealed.
The Commons Standard Committee declared the 62 years old displayed disregard for the law by showing readiness to buy cocaine in a rendezvous with two sex workers who he told ‘We need to get this party started’.
And MPs ruled that his actions were a particularly grave violation of the Code of Conduct which states members must not harm the reputation and integrity of the Commons and the Committee rejected his outlandish claims of amnesia as it savaged him for failing repeatedly to clarify questions and MPs dismissed his request a transcript and recording were unreliable following forensic examination.
And if agreed by MPs, the prohibition will trigger a recall petition against the disgraced MP, which will enable voters to force a by-election booting him out of office.
The Committee further took the unusual step of demanding that Mr Vaz is excluded from a former MP pass that would let him wander Parliament at will if he stands down.
The MP described himself to the two men as a washing machine salesperson called Jim, yet he told an investigation that the object of his meeting with the two men was not to engage in paid sex but to discuss the internal design of his flat.
And in a statement, Mr Vaz’s office announced that Keith Vaz had been treated for a serious mental health condition for the last three years as a consequence of the events of 27th August 2016 and he’s now shared all the medical reports in confidence with the Committee.
And he has nothing more to say on this subject other than what was said in his verbal and written statements to the Committee and the Commissioner.
The report confirmed that the Metropolitan Police had chosen not to continue with a case against Mr Vaz, despite two referrals.
The incident was reported to the House of Commons officials three years ago and the matter has stretched over the tenures of two separate Standards Commissioners but the inquiry was repeatedly delayed by the two police referrals, which didn’t lead to a prosecution, the 2017 election and Mr Vaz’s ill health.
MPs took the extraordinary decision to redact delicate information from the MP’s doctors about the precise nature of his continuing poor health and while accepting that Mr Vaz’s well-being has still not entirely recovered, the report is scathing.
It stated “it is more likely than not that Mr Vaz has engaged in paid sexual activity”, continuing: “We are satisfied from the evidence we have considered that Mr Vaz did on 27 August 2016 offer to procure and pay for illegal drugs for use by a third party.”
The report added: “He has not ‘co-operated at all stages’ with the investigation process”.
Mr Vaz had failed, repeatedly, to respond to direct inquiries and he has given sketchy explanations and his account has, in parts, been unbelievable and he’d not given a complete and detailed account of the relevant events.
According to the report, Mr Vaz offered several alternative and conflicting suggestions on what had transpired and he suggested variously that the men were called over to discuss redesigning his flat, and that they were sent there to entrap him.
And that he developed amnesia after his drink was spiked, that the recording of the incident was falsified and that no sexual activity took place.
The report stated: “It is difficult, to put it mildly, to see how all these separate defences could simultaneously be true.”
The report rejects allegations that the Sunday Mirror had ensnared Mr Vaz and it stated that Mr Vaz had not provided compelling or credible proof to prove that they forced or provoked him to act in a way that was out of character or inconsistent with past conduct.
It was almost certainly true that the conversation was being driven by the two men but there was no proof to suggest that Mr Vaz was being steered in directions he was reluctant to go.
It, however, concluded that he breached section 16 of the 2015 House of Commons Code of Conduct, which declares that members shall never undertake any activity which would cause meaningful harm to the character or integrity of the House of Commons as a whole, or of its Members generally and Mr Vaz’s behaviour was a very serious violation of the Code.
But Keith Vaz could avoid his suspension from Parliament thanks to the general election being called which suggests that Keith Vaz could be on a course to avoid his punishment as he will be permitted to stand again at the election and his proposed suspension will be withdrawn if he’s re-elected.
This would mean that he effectively would avoid any punishment, except for the committee’s proposal that when he ceases to be an MP that he’s not given a former member’s pass.
Mr Vaz, who sits on Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, has already been re-adopted as the party’s candidate in his Leicester East constituency but given the incriminating report and his approach to parliamentary rules, he should lose the Labour whip and be unfit to stand as anything other than an independent.
And according to Keith Vaz, that night with the two rent boys was all a terrible misunderstanding and if the Labour party have even the slightest remains of respectability they wouldn’t back this man. So, either they no longer care or fear information he has on them as otherwise there isn’t any way that the Labour party would support this man, who has more skeletons in his closet than a medical school, to continue as a Member of Parliament.
How many get out of jail free cards does this slimebag need? He’s been up to no good for years and constantly uses ill health to get off and if he gets re-elected then his constituents are total fools and should be detained along with this treasonous meat sack and surely his constituents if they have any morals will jettison this guy.
But then if this guy had any morals he wouldn’t be standing for election because this is a confirmed liar who’s prepared to make up absurd tales to get himself out of trouble and yet he will still be voted back in by the red rosette brigade and if anything confirms the deception of Labour it’s this man.