UK police begin probe on anti-Sri Lanka MP

_92410419_mediaitem92410417British police have begun an investigation on an anti-Sri Lanka Parliamentarian over drug offences.

The BBC reported that the police are investigating possible drug offences following a Sunday Mirror story about the Labour MP Keith Vaz.

Vaz quit as chairman of the Home Affairs Select committee in September after the paper claimed he paid for the services of two male escorts.

According to the newspaper, the MP also indicated to one of the men that he would pay for cocaine, although he said he would not use the drug himself.

Vaz, 59, told the Guardian he welcomed the police’s investigation. The police said they would not confirm or comment on the identity of anyone involved.

The Sunday Mirror story in September included photographs and secret recordings it said were of Vaz with the sex workers in a north London flat he owns.

Drugs, including cocaine, were mentioned during a secretly-recorded conversation. The recording also included a discussion about using the party drug known as Poppers.

Vaz had opposed government attempts to criminalise the drug. Ministers later announced they would remain within the law.

Following the allegations, Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said 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.

Scotland Yard said police had received a letter on 7 September asking them to look into the matter.
The force said one of its specialist teams then began an assessment process to see “what criminal offences – if any – may have been committed”.

A spokesman said: “Following that assessment, which included obtaining early investigative advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, the Metropolitan Police Service is now investigating offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

“The investigation started on Thursday 10 November.” Vaz, the Leicester East MP and a married father-of-two, resigned as chairman of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee two days after the Sunday Mirror’s report.

He told the Guardian on Friday: “I welcome a full investigation as a means of establishing the true facts and I am confident the police will pursue all lines of enquiry. “I will cooperate with the investigation in any way I can.”

Last month Vaz joined the Commons justice committee after Bridgen tried to block the appointment. (Colombo Gazette)