LABOUR Party MPs have thrown their backing behind disgraced MP Keith Vaz – despite him facing a Parliamentary ban for hiring prostitutes and helping them to buy cocaine.
Mr Vaz is facing suspension from the House of Commons for six months after what the Commons standard watchdog said was a “very serious breach” of the MPs’ code of conduct.
Mr Vaz, who has been the MP for Leicester East since 1987, claimed to be a washing machine salesman called Jim when the two men were invited to his North London apartment in August 2016.
The inquiry by the standards commissioner concerned the evening of August 27, 2016, at a well-appointed £400,000 Edgware flat belonging to Mr Vaz, a 10-minute walk from his £2.2million marital home.
As the rent boys undressed, one of them asked his name and the MP for Leicester East replied ‘Jim’, telling his Eastern European guests he was a washing machine repair man.
Alas, the ruse was pointless, for they were fully aware of his true identity and one of them was secretly recording the proceedings on his phone for the Sunday Mirror newspaper.
Eight days later, it published its expose, including extracts of the home affairs chairman – whose committee was tasked with monitoring crime, immigration and drugs policy on behalf of the nation – discussing illegal drugs, unprotected sex and money. He resigned as chairman days later.
Mr Vaz told investigators he did not pay for sex and the men were there to discuss “decorating his flat”.
The committee said his explanation the escorts were there to discuss the redecoration of the flat and that he may have been given a “spiked drink” was “not believable and, indeed, ludicrous”.
After the scandal broke, the Labour MP, 62, issued a public apology to his wife and kids and quit as head of the Home Affairs committee in 2016.
However, he was appointed to the Justice Select Committee just a month later, in October 2016, after he was nominated by his party.
Just hours after it was announced that he could face a 6 month ban from Parliament, Vaz was admitted to hospital where he currently is understood to remain.
In light of the recent news regarding the looming general election, various Labour MPs have thrown their support being the MP – most recently MP for East Ham, Stephen Timms.
Speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer on her TalkRadio breakfast show, the Labour MP stated that Vaz had done ‘amazing work for his constituents’ – despite being absent for considerable time of late due to alleged health problems that arose straight after his scandal broke.
“Why do you hope that a man who offered to buy cocaine for male prostitutes should be allowed to stand as an MP again for your party?” Julia quizzed him, to which Timms answered:
“Well, it will be for the voters… but what I would say is that Keith has made a great contribution in Parliament over a long time”.
“I’m genuinely quite dumbstruck” Julia came back to him, unable to hold an ironic laugh. “You think that this man is a fitting person to be a member of Parliament?!”
Stephen Timms is just one of many Labour MPs and party members who have stepped forward to offer their support.