Leicester East MP Keith Vaz is expected to step down as the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee following allegations that he paid for the services of male escorts.
The married father-of-two paid for the men to visit him at his flat in London claims a leading Sunday newspaper.
And ahead of the meeting he had sent a series of texts in which he jokingly called himself one of the men’s “pimp” and “bank manager”. The paper also claims Vaz told the pair to bring along poppers – the sex-enhancing drug.
The Labour MP is the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee which monitors crime and drugs policy. He had opposed government attempts to criminalise the drug. Ministers later announced they would remain within the law. His committee is also currently overseeing a review of the UK’s prostitution laws.
Vaz said he was referring the claims to his solicitor and would be seeking advice. He said: “It is deeply disturbing that a national newspaper should have paid individuals to have acted in this way. I have referred these allegations to my solicitor Mark Stephens of Howard Kennedy who will consider them carefully and advise me accordingly.”
When asked about the allegations, shadow health secretary Diane Abbott said: “I’ve known Keith for over 30 years. I think this must be a dreadful time for him and his family – his wife and his two children – and I’d rather not comment.”