Scotland Yard today said it will "assess" the case of UK's longest serving Indian-origin Labour MP Keith Vaz to see if any criminal offences were committed by him after a British tabloid published allegations that he hired two male prostitutes and made references to drugs.
Scotland Yard today said it will “assess” the case of UK’s longest serving Indian-origin Labour MP Keith Vaz to see if any criminal offences were committed by him after a British tabloid published allegations that he hired two male prostitutes and made references to drugs.
The Metropolitan Police stressed that no investigation has been launched yet and that the issue has been referred to its “Special Enquiry Team” after it received a letter in relation to the allegations which appeared in the ‘Sunday Mirror’.
“Following allegations in the ‘Sunday Mirror’ on Sunday, September 4, concerning a Member of Parliament, the Metropolitan Police Service can confirm a letter was received on Wednesday, September 7, requesting police consider the matter,” a Met Police statement said.
“The letter has been forwarded to Met’s Special Enquiry Team, part of Specialist Crime and Operations, to assess and identify what criminal offences – if any – may have been committed. At this stage a police investigation has not been launched,” it said.
Earlier this week, the 59-year-old influential lawmaker had resigned from his post as chair of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee in the wake of the sex scandal.
His resignation followed allegations published by the tabloid that the married, father of two, had met two male escorts from eastern Europe at his north London flat last month.
The high-profile politician is also alleged to have told the escorts to bring the party drug known as “poppers” and is also quoted as discussing the possibility of paying for cocaine at a future meeting, but added that he would not take the drug himself.
In the wake of the revelations, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen had indicated that he would be writing to Scotland Yard calling for Vaz to be investigated for misconduct in a public office and conspiracy to supply controlled substances.
Vaz, Leicester East MP for Labour since 1987, has referred the allegations to his lawyer and has indicated that he intends to remain an MP and a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee.
Vaz was born to Goan parents in Aden, Yemen, in 1956 and went on to study law at Cambridge University. He served as minister for Europe in former prime minister Tony Blair’s cabinet, becoming the first Indian-origin minister to occupy a senior cabinet portfolio at the time.