Keith Vaz faces six-month suspension after investigation

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LONDON: 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, the BBC and other media reported on Monday.

The body 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. If MPs vote to approve the committee’s recommendation, Mr Vaz would be subject to a recall petition which could trigger a by-election if supported by 10% of his constituents.

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, whose complaint triggered the investigation, told BBC East Midlands Today: “The wheels of justice have moved slowly but inexorably to the right conclusion. The report is damning regarding Keith Vaz’s conduct and only needs rubber stamp from parliament now”.

“Hopefully, this is the end of the line for Keith Vaz, I don’t think he’s fit to be representing anywhere in this place, I think he’s been a malign influence on local and national politics for too long.”

A spokesman for Mr Vaz said the Leicester East MP had been treated for a serious mental health condition for the last three years as a result of the events of 27th 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 police declined to take action against the MP following an investigation in 2016.

Keith Vaz MP was admitted to hospital hours after the conclusion of of a three year inquiry to determine whether he had breached parliamentary rules.

His hospitalisation was revealed in a statement on the Labour Leicester East MP’s website. It followed the publication of Parliament’s Committee for Standard’s recommendation that he be suspended from the House of Commons for six months.