Labour MP Keith Vaz faces six month suspension over cocaine scandal

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Labour MP Keith Vaz is facing suspension from the House of Commons for six months after he was found to have 'expressed willingness' to purchase cocaine for others.

Recommending suspension, the Commons Standards Committee said the finding represented a 'very serious breach' of the House code of conduct for MPs.

Labour MP Keith Vaz (Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

Labour MP Keith Vaz (Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

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It said that by failing to co-operate fully with the Commons inquiry process, Mr Vaz had shown 'disrespect for the House's standards system' and caused 'significant damage' to the reputation and integrity of the Commons as a whole.

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

In the course of the encounter - which was covertly audio-recorded by one of the men - Mr Vaz was said to have offered to buy illegal drugs for a third person to use.

The committee said his explanation that the men 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'.

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Mr Vaz declined to comment on details of his encounter with the two men on grounds of the medical condition of amnesia.

According to the committee's report, its aim was 'to establish whether the rules of the House have been complied with, not to investigate Mr Vaz’s private life or to pass judgement on issues of sexual morality'.

A statement posted on Mr Vaz's website said: "Keith Vaz has 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."