British MP Keith Vaz to stand aside from committee following newspaper allegations

The married MP allegedly paid for the services of two male escorts

British MP Keith Vaz to stand aside from committee following newspaper allegations

Keith Vaz MP. Image: PA / PA Archive/Press Association Images

British MP Keith Vaz is to stand aside as chair of a parliamentary committee following allegations in a Sunday newspaper.

The married Labour MP allegedly paid for the services of two male prostitutes and offered to pay for drugs, according to the Sunday Mirror.

In a statement, Mr Vaz 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."

In a previous statement, reportedly issued to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Vaz said: "I am genuinely sorry for the hurt and distress that has been caused by my actions, in particular to my wife and children.

"I will be informing the Committee on Tuesday of my intention to stand aside from chairing the sessions of the Committee with immediate effect."

Mr Vaz has been the Labour MP for Leicester since 1987 and chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee for 10 years.

In July, the Home Affairs Select Committee issued a report saying that soliciting by sex workers should be decriminalised.  

A British Labour party spokesperson said: "Keith Vaz has issued a statement on this matter. 

"As with all departmental select committees, Keith was elected to the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee by the House of Commons, and his position is a matter for him and the House."