Possibly the Stupidest Urgent Question Bercow’s Ever Granted

The Speaker has allowed one UQ from Keith Vaz MP as below:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the reports of an imminent Saudi/UAE- led coalition attack on Hudaydah port, Yemen and the humanitarian impact.

Of the 7 Urgent Questions tabled today only his mate Vaz’s got granted – inserted just before the Prime Minister addresses the House on the G7 meeting. Ridiculous to ask the Government to comment on a speculated foreign military attack on a third country. What exactly does Bercow expect Alastair Burt to say?

Now Vaz Reports Bridgen to Standards Commissioner (Again)

Keith Vaz has reported Tory MP Andrew Bridgen to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards – again. Bridgen first complained to the Commissioner about Vaz’s conduct in September 2016 after the Labour grandee was the subject of an infamous newspaper expose. The Commissioner opened an inquiry which was suspended for months due to ‘health reasons’. Almost two years after the coke and rent boys shenanigans, Vaz is in the House the Commissioner’s probe is back on

At the time Vaz retaliated, complaining about Bridgen to the same watchdog, arguing that any investigation into his conduct was outside the Commissioner’s scope. The Commissioner rejected Vaz’s complaint…

Now Vaz has complained yet again, this time on the grounds that Bridgen has commented on Vaz’s case to the media. Bridgen tells Guido:

“Mr Vaz is clearly somewhat rattled.”

How long will it take the Commissioner to dismiss this one…

Bercow Welcomes Vaz Back From Illness

Good news for those concerned about the health of Keith Vaz, who has been missing from parliament after being declared ill, delaying the investigation into his coke and rent boys mishap indefinitely. Vazeline is back at work today. “It’s very good to welcome him back to the Chamber,” said his old friend and protector John Bercow…

Vaz Case Referred Back to Police

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has referred the Keith Vaz coke-and-rent-boys case back to the Metropolitan Police. Developing…

NCA Taking Vaz Allegations Very Seriously

The National Crime Agency says it has not ruled out launching a probe after it received allegations about disgraced Keith Vaz’s property empire. Following a complaint from Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, Britain’s FBI did not rule out looking into the situation and said it takes such matters seriously. The agency told Bridgen:

“I am sorry to have taken so long to reply and want to reassure you that the NCA takes all such allegations very seriously. I do, however, hope that you will understand that I can make no comment about what operational activity, if any, the NCA may take in response to the allegations against Mr Vaz.”

Mr Vaz denies the claims. Trouble may be ahead in Leicester East…

Labour Cold Case Unit: Four Never-Ending Investigations

Back in December Guido asked what progress Labour had made on their internal investigations into MPs accused of various forms of wrongdoing. At the time probes had been launched into Jared O’Mara, Keith Vaz, Kelvin Hopkins and Ivan Lewis. No progress has been made in five months. The O’Mara investigation has now been delayed again, and there has been no update on the other three. The supposed Vaz investigation has been ongoing for a year and a half. Ava Etemadzadeh, the woman who accused Hopkins of harassment, says she has no idea when her case will be heard. There is still no date set for the Lewis hearing, yet he is back in parliament and voting with Labour without taking the whip. A fifth MP, whose identity Guido knows but is not revealing to protect his alleged victim, is accused of wife-beating. He has not even been suspended. These investigations are a sham – Labour clearly has no intention of properly holding their MPs to account. Guido wouldn’t be surprised if Blairite Lewis gets thrown under a bus and the rest get away with it…

Vaz Investigation is Back On

Good news, Vaz’s amazing recovery in health since the investigation was suspended has led the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to re-open the investigation. Rumour is the Commissioner arranged an independent medical evaluation…

Guido revealed how Vaz was spotted opening a swimming pool, attending council meetings, an APPG and a music gig in Leicester. In December Guido asked what had happened to the Standards Commissioner’s investigation into Keith Vaz. The “suspension for medical reasons” had become embarrassing for the parliamentary authorities…

‘Too Sick to Face Investigation’ Vaz Attends Two Dance Festivals in One Week

‘Too sick to be investigated’ Keith Vaz was spotted at both a Bollywood and a dance festival at different ends of the country in the last week. The MP was a VIP guest at the Polish Folklore festival at De Montfort Hall, Leicester on Sunday. Earlier, he attended a Bollywood festival in London where he was pictured with a famous actor:

“Shatrughan Sinha was honoured in London by Keith Vaz the MP from the British Labour Party. During a Q-and-A session after being honoured Shatrughan Sinha was asked which distinguished Indian he would like to play on screen.”

Guido revealed how last month Vaz was spotted opening a swimming pool, attending council meetings, an APPG and a music gig in Leicester. In December Guido asked what had happened to the Standards Commissioner’s investigation into Keith Vaz, which still hasn’t reported back after nearly a year and a half. The Vaz inquiry remains “suspended for medical reasons”. Becoming embarrassing for the parliamentary authorities…

Vaz Promised to “Only Accept a Worker’s Wage”

Keith Vaz promised to “only accept a worker’s wage” when he was in the process of becoming an MP, Guido can reveal. Vaz is under renewed pressure over his finances after the National Crime Agency was asked to launch an Unexplained Wealth Order investigation by Tory MP Andrew Bridgen. According to newspaper reports published before his election in 1987:

“Secretary of Richmond and Barnes Labour Party Keith Vaz has been selected as Labour candidate for the Leicester East constituency… Mr Vaz is going to live and work in Leicester in the run up to the election. He said that if elected he will only accept a worker’s wage and donate the rest of his parliamentary salary to the local Labour Party.”

Mr Vaz’s parliamentary salary is £74,962. Mr Vaz’s spokesman said this weekend the allegations are “entirely unfounded”. How much of Vaz’s salary over his 31 years in Parliament has he donated to Leicester East Labour Party?

Vaz Reported to National Crime Agency Over His Finances

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has tonight reported Keith Vaz to the National Crime Agency calling for an Unexplained Wealth Order investigation to look into his finances. Uh oh… 

‘Too Sick to Be Investigated’ Keith Vaz Seen Out and About

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s investigation into Keith Vaz remains suspended on medical grounds. The MPs watchdog says Vaz is too sick to face scrutiny…

Funny that his constituents keep noticing him out and about in rude health. Check out these pics of him opening a swimming pool this week. Guido is told he has also attended council meetings, an APPG and was spotted at a music gig in Leicester. He’s also been voting in Westminster…

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen told Guido:

“Keith Vaz is the most healthy looking sick man I have ever seen.”

Worth remembering Vaz also went ill around the time of 2001 election when previous serious allegations were made against him. Investigation-itis?

Vaz Investigation “Suspended For Medical Reasons”

A few weeks ago Guido asked what had happened to the Standards Commissioner’s investigation into Keith Vaz, which still hasn’t reported back after nearly a year and a half. Today the ongoing investigations list has been updated to reveal that the Vaz inquiry has been “suspended for medical reasons”. It’s certainly true that Vaz has gone missing in recent weeks – he didn’t vote between 18 October and 13 December and he’s only spoken in the Commons once in the last month. He did however manage a trip to the Middle East earlier this month and to vote on the EU withdrawal bill last week. Get well soon…

UPDATE: Tory MP Andrew Bridgen told Guido:

“It’s deeply disappointing but not surprising. If Vaz is not fit to be held to the standards expected of a parliamentarian then he’s not fit enough to be a parliamentarian and we should be expecting a by-election.”

UPDATE II: Guido is reminded that slippery Vaz also went ill around the time of 2001 election when previous serious allegations against him were made. He went to ground for several weeks and so avoided Michael Crick. It’s hard to doorstep a sick man…

Where Are the Dirty Dozen’s Promised Reports, Investigations and Decisions?

The Brexit noise is helpfully letting both the government and the Labour Party sit on the promised reports, investigations and decisions which followed the recent string of Westminster scandals. Here’s Guido’s run-down of the unfinished business from the past few weeks (and earlier)…

Jared O’Mara: Jared hasn’t been seen in Westminster since the scandal around him erupted in October and he hasn’t voted in the months since. He – or more likely, his whip – is submitting a number of very general written questions and signing the odd EDM to give the impression things are still ticking over. Jared is still under investigation after losing the Labour whip. He’s been off for weeks…

Keith Vaz: An investigation into Vaz by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is somehow still ongoing after a complaint was made about his rent boys and coke binge in September 2016 (Kathryn Hudson better hurry-up, she’s due to step-down by the end of this year). Vaz hasn’t voted since 18 October, though he did speak in the House last week. He is currently rumoured to be on a trip to the Middle East…

Damian Green: Westminster was on tenterhooks awaiting the release of Sue Gray’s report last week, but it didn’t materialise. It was rumoured to be on the agenda again yesterday but failed to appear. Putting off the inevitable seems to be distracting Damian from his job liaising with the DUP…

Mark Garnier: Remains under Cabinet Office investigation after the Mail on Sunday reported allegations in October that he sent an aide to buy sex toys and called her “sugar tits“. What on earth are they doing, interrogating the sex shop owner?

Kelvin Hopkins: Former Shadow Culture Secretary Kelvin Hopkins lost the Labour whip in November. The party is still investigating a complaint that Hopkins sent inappropriate text messages and made inappropriate physical contact at a student event in 2014. He is voting in line with Labour but hasn’t spoken since 25 October. No update from Labour…

Ivan LewisLabour is still investigating a complaint against Lewis, who denied allegations of sexual harassment after a woman said he touched her leg and invited her to his house when she was 19. He hasn’t voted since 31 October or spoken in the chamber since 25 October. No update…

Dan Poulter: MPs say they haven’t seen Dr Dan around Westminster since the Sunday Times reported allegations against him on 5 November. His office told the BBC he’s “on sick leave”. He last voted on 31 October and hasn’t spoken in the chamber since 11 July. The new Conservative Party disciplinary committee is yet to report its findings… 

Charlie Elphicke: Elphicke’s friends say is still unaware of what allegations have been made against him. He was told in November that allegations had been passed to the police, but there has been no news of any action. In the meantime, Elphicke is still without the whip. The chairman of his association recently backed him…

Stephen CrabbThe former Welsh Secretary is still under investigation by the Conservative Party for allegedly sexting a 19-year-old who applied for a job in his office in 2013. No update…

Chris Pincher: He resigned as a government whip after allegations in the Mail on Sunday that he had un-tucked the shirt of a male Tory. Pincher referred himself to the police. No news as to the outcome…

Daniel KawczynskiReferred to the Tories new disciplinary committee in November following allegations that he pressured a young researcher to go on a date with a businessman ‘older than her father’. Nothing heard yet…

Jack LoprestiA former staff member complained about Lopresti’s behaviour and a probe was launched last week. The complaint came via the Tories’ new code of conduct hotline…

What do Sue Gray, Kathryn Hudson and the Tory and Labour party internal inquiries get up to all day?

Vaz Off International Trade Select Committee

Yesterday’s order paper showed Keith Vaz being discharged from his position on the International Trade select committee, just three months after he joined. Vaz is being replaced by Tom Watson’s old flame Stephanie Peacock. Sources say Vaz hasn’t been seen much around the House recently, and he hasn’t voted since 18 October. A few months back Momentum were coming for his place on the NEC; surely he isn’t now being lined up for a frontbench job? Wonder what he’ll do with his newly free time…

Vaz Investigation Still Ongoing A Year Later

What with all the talk of scandal in Westminster, the mind inevitably wanders to… Keith Vaz. It’s now more than 12 months since an official complaint about Vaz’s conduct was first made to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards (in September 2016). The Commissioner was asked to investigate whether Vaz broke the Code of Conduct for MPs when he was caught offering to pay for drugs for gay prostitutes. Vaz was Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee which handles prostitution and drugs legislation…

The Standards Commissioner said yesterday:

“The Commissioner doesn’t give updates and it is not possible to give an expected date for completion.”

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, who submitted the complaint, said:

“I’m rapidly losing confidence in the parliamentary standards procedures. It often said that justice delayed is justice denied.”

Let’s hope all these new probes and inquiries and probes don’t take so long…

Is Statue Keith? ‘Vaz and Rent Boy’ Sculpture Unveiled

Guido likes to keep his cultured readers abreast of the arts: you may have missed this new sculpture, entitled “Keith Vaz MP and his Rent Boy”. The work, by London-based artist Wilfred Wood, went on display at Saturday’s Queer Artists Now exhibition at the Archive Gallery in East London’s De Beauvoir. The baseball-capped “rent boy” places a languid hand on Vaz’s shoulder. A boxer-shorted Vaz stares into the distance. It would work nicely for Parliament Square?

Vaz Seeking “Grope” Assistant

A post has appeared on the w4mp website advertising a vacancy in Keith Vaz’s office. Apparently he needs someone to help him in his role as “Chairman of the APPG Grope on Yemen”. Just an unfortunate typo, Guido is sure…

Vaz Slips Out in Rolls Royce

An amazed co-conspirator spotted Keith Vaz leaving parliament in a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce. Could the commissions from his washing machine sales be more lucrative than we thought? Of course if it was a benefit in kind from a generous benefactor he will remember to declare it in the register of interests…

Vaz’s Pants Councillor Resigns

A councillor close to Keith Vaz who had his taxi licence withdrawn amid allegations he “sat outside a swimming pool in his pants” has resigned. Gurpal Atwal is alleged to have boasted he had Vaz “in his right pocket” and has been pictured campaigning with him. Atwal denied the charges against him but Magistrates found he is not a fit and proper person to hold a taxi licence and also charged him £1,250 in costs. Now he has resigned as a councillor…

A Labour Party spokesman said:

“The Labour Party appreciates Gurpal Atwal’s valuable contribution to the work of Oadby & Wigston Council during his time of service. There will be a by-election in due course which the Labour Party intends to contest with a new candidate.”

Guido can reveal that a formal complaint was made against Atwal in April of this year, but Leicester City Council took no action. Conservative Councillor Ross Grant submitted a dossier to the authorities, but a judgement on Atwal was not issued until June. The Council found there was no grounds for action. North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen said:

“It is right that Atwal has resigned, but serious questions remain about why he wasn’t stopped earlier when the City Council received evidence that he was unfit. This will cause more concern about child safeguarding in Leicester, which very unfortunately is not a city that can be proud of its record of protecting children.”

Another member of the Vaz chumocracy falls…

Vaz-Pants Councillor Suspended from Vulnerable Kids Contract

A scandal-hit taxi-driver and Labour councillor who is said to have boasted about having “Keith Vaz in my right pocket” has been suspended from working on a public sector contract to transport vulnerable children. Gurpal Atwal sits on Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, close to Vaz’s Leicester East seat.[…] Read the rest

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