Senior Labour MP Keith Vaz will face an inquiry by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards into alleged breach of the MPs code of conduct after he was shown in a September sting operation discussing drugs in the company of two male prostitutes.
A police inquiry against Vaz was dropped on Friday. The inquiry by standards commissioner Kathryn Hudson was suspended pending the police investigation, but a spokesperson for the commissioner told Hindustan Times on Tuesday that she had decided to resume the probe.
The parliamentary inquiry relates to alleged breach of two paragraphs (10 and 16) of the code of conduct.
Paragraph 10 states: “Members shall base their conduct on a consideration of the public interest, avoid conflict between personal interest and the public interest and resolve any conflict between the two, at once, and in favour of the public interest.”
According to Paragraph 16, MPs “shall never undertake any action which would cause significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons as a whole, or of its members generally”.
Vaz, 59, resigned as chair of the influential Home Affairs Committee after questions about conflict of interest were raised between the panel’s work and issues that figured in the sting operation by the Sunday Mirror tabloid.
He later became a member of parliament’s Justice Committee in the face of opposition by some MPs.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards deals with the application of the code of conduct and related rules that apply to MPs.