It seems unlikely that any tears should be shed over the departure of Keith Vaz from the chair of the Commons Home Affairs committee.
This Writer observed his conduct during that committee’s inquiry into alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and it seemed needlessly partisan; he seemed to have decided that the accused MPs were guilty before any allegedly fact-finding questioning took place.
He is another example of an MP who thought he could do what he wanted, with impunity – and now he is discovering that it isn’t true.
How many more are still getting away with it, though?
More importantly, the revelations about his personal life must lead to an investigation into some of the decisions made by the Home Affairs committee on prostitution and his conduct with reference to other allegations of sexual offences.
How can anyone trust his demand that prostitutes’ clients should be free from prosecution when he is, himself, one such client?
Then there are allegations about child sex that Mr Vaz seems to have tried to stifle. Greville Janner springs to mind.
It seems that some of the mud is finally starting to stick to the man once dubbed the ‘Teflon’ MP.
Keith Vaz looks set to quit a powerful role which looked at prostitution policy after his meetings with prostitutes were revealed.
A statement was attributed to the veteran Labour MP today after the Sunday Mirror told how he asked two male escorts to bring poppers to his flat and said: “We need to get this party started.”
The married MP for Leicester East since 1987 is a member of Labour’s ruling NEC, and chairs Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee which led an inquiry into prostitution earlier this year.
An interim report led by Mr Vaz in July said soliciting by sex workers should be decriminalised because they were being “penalised and stigmatised”.
A statement given to the Mail on Sunday 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.”
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