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A councillor close to Keith Vaz who had his taxi licence withdrawn amid allegations he “sat outside a swimming pool in his pants” has resigned.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. Last week a court heard that Atwal – who has been pictured campaigning with Vaz – sat outside a swimming pool “in his pants” and had allegedly been verbally abusive to passengers (Atwal denied the claims). Magistrates ruled Atwal was not a fit and proper person to hold a taxi licence and also charged him £1,250 in costs. A council spokesman said this weekend:

“We have a framework contract with ASA Transport Service Ltd, to provide transport for vulnerable adults and children in Leicester. Mr Atwal is employed as a driver with this firm, but as a result of this week’s court decision, we have instructed ASA that Mr Atwal is no longer to be used for any of our contracted work.”

North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen said:

“Things look murkier and murkier with regard to child safeguarding in Leicester. This has all the hallmarks of another Labour cover-up putting vulnerable children at risk.”

Will Vaz publicly distance himself from Atwal?

“Vaz In My Right Pocket” Councillor “Sat in His Pants Outside a Swimming Pool”

A Labour councillor who is said to have boasted he had Keith Vaz “in his right pocket” was yesterday accused of “sitting outside a swimming pool in his pants” during a court hearing over his taxi licence. Cllr Gurpal Atwal sits on Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, close to Vaz’s Leicester East seat, and has worked as a cab driver in the city for two decades. When his own Council denied him a taxi licence earlier this year he appealed, and at a hearing before magistrates in Loughborough yesterday, Licensing Enforcement Officer Tracey Aldwinckle gave details of his alleged conduct:

“I was told your client is using unlicensed drivers on school runs and then he sat in his pants outside a swimming pool because he believes that’s acceptable.”

The court heard a slew of other allegations including of racism and that Atwal swore at a man; Atwal’s solicitor said there was “no indication” from the public of any such behaviour. A witness claimed in a statement that Atwal once boasted of having “Keith Vaz in my right pocket”… 

Magistrates decided to uphold an earlier decision by the licensing authorities that Atwal is not a fit and proper person to hold a taxi licence and also charged him £1,250 in costs. Atwal will however be able to continue working as a cab driver under a previous licence which covers him until 2018. Atwal did not give a comment when approached by reporters. Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicstershire, said of the case:

“It’s a real insight into Labour politics in Leicester, and shows that Atwal’s powerful friends in the city have got serious questions to answer.”

Unlicensed Taxi for Keith Vaz…

Washing Machine Protest Outside Vaz’s Office

Spotted outside Jim the washing machine salesman’s office in Leicester this afternoon. “No more spin…”

Neighbouring Tory MP Andrew Bridgen comments: “Keith has been very quiet so far during this election, but then he has a lot to be quiet about”. Jim was nowhere to be seen during the protest today either. His constituents are clearly not impressed…

Vaz Complains “MSM” Invent Stories

Keith Vaz isn’t so chatty about the shenanigans of his alter ego Jim the washing machine salesman these days. Last night however he gave his views on the “mainstream media” that revealed his double life at a drinks bash held by Jeremy Corbyn. According to journalist Marcus Dysch who was present, Vaz told the room the “MSM” – he used the acronym – invent what they write and that to counter the press “we must tell people the truth”. The only one inventing stories is Jim with his promise to get you a great deal on a washer dryer…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Vaz Sets Carter Ruck on Andrew Pierce

Keith Vaz is very unhappy with the Daily Mail’s Andrew Pierce over an article published last week in which Pierce reported Vaz had paid rent boys for their services. Vaz has instructed £500-an-hour Carter Ruck to insist he has “never had ‘sex’ with any ‘rent boys'”.

We have been contacted by Carter-Ruck on behalf of Keith Vaz in connection with an article in the Daily Mail dated 8 February 2017, pages 6 and 7, headed “How the king of the freebies splashes your cash” and on Mail Online headed “Chauffeur-driven cars, taxpayer-funded suits and hospitality at the tennis and Arsenal matches: How the king of freebies John Bercow splashes your cash”

Carter-Ruck say their client has never ‘paid rent boys for sex’ and never had ‘sex’ with any ‘rent boys’. They also say there was never a Police investigation in relation to this.

Vaz told the rent boys in the Sunday Mirror sting “Try and pick up some poppers” and asked “How will this work, do you want me to f*** him first or all together”. Reportedly talking about an encounter with another escort, Vaz said “He was OK. He forgot the condom though. I had to f*** him without a condom”. Yet “Carter-Ruck say their client has never ‘paid rent boys for sex’ and never had ‘sex’ with any ‘rent boys'”. What about Jim the washing machine salesman?

Vaz “No Charges” Letter

Law makers can apparently be law breakers…

Slippery Vaz Gets Off Again

The police have dropped their investigation into Keith Vaz after he was caught on camera offering to buy cocaine for rent boys. This particular police investigation was always at the mild end of Vaz’s sleazy private life…

Vaz and Bercow Get the Party Started

Surreal moment in the Commons as Vaz congratulates Bercow on his and Sally’s anniversary, before asking if had a “party” last night. Remember, the Speaker and Vaz are close

Vaz Dodges National Crime Agency Meeting

vaz-dodging-nca

Since Keith Vaz’s appointment to the Criminal Finance Bill committee this week it has sat twice, on Tuesday and today. For some reason – to the great disappointment of hacks – Vaz has absented himself from both sessions. Guido can give readers some background as to why that might be…

Guido understands Labour whips have been told that not only is Vaz now under investigation by Scotland Yard, they have been made aware that four files regarding Vaz have been passed to the National Crime Agency. Given that the Bill committee has been taking evidence from the National Crime Agency, it would clearly be completely inappropriate for Vaz to attend this committee. If Vaz had attended he would either have to recuse himself or declare his interest. Rather than face the embarrassment, slippery Vaz has unofficially recused himself by not showing up…

Vaz to Scrutinise Unexplained Wealth Laws

vaz

Today’s Sun reports Keith Vaz has been appointed a member of the Criminal Finance Bill committee despite being under active police investigation. As Guido reported last month, Vaz’s role will include helping to scrutinise new plans to strengthen so-called Unexplained Wealth Orders, anti-corruption laws where assets can be seized if owners are unable to explain how they were funded. This is something of personal significance to Vaz, who in 2012 was subject to another police investigation which found up to £500,000 of funds believed to have been “of a suspicious nature” were paid into current and savings accounts in his name or linked to him:

“There are numerous unexplained payments into the accounts and large transfers between accounts that require further investigation… the level of funds received … are of a suspicious nature”

Vaz did not declare where the money came from. At one point detectives claimed £28,959 in cash was paid into an HSBC account held by Vaz, with no explanation. This is all without mentioning the mystery behind Vaz’s £4 million global property empire, which he has also never explained how he has been able to afford. Vaz is now scrutinising laws on unexplained wealth…

BBC Reports Keith Vaz Booed in Leicester

Usually the attention-grabbing Keith Vaz is cheered by constituents when he takes to the stage at the annual Diwali light switch-on in Leicester. This year he skulked at the back and was booed by the home crowd. Vaz is clinging to his position on the Justice select committee despite potentially breaking a law he helped draft. He retains the Labour whip and still sits on the party’s NEC despite consorting with prostitutes and trying his hand at procuring drug deals. Corbyn has defended Vaz – who is the subject of a police investigation – claiming it is a “private matter”. 

Compare this to the treatment of Simon Danczuk, a single man who sexted a woman but didn’t meet her let alone break any laws, and was immediately suspended by Labour. At the time Corbyn told the press: He was suspended this morning because of recent revelations. His conduct will now be investigated”. This is a glaring double standard – the only real reason action has been taken against Danczuk but not Vaz is their differing attitudes to the leader.

As Tory MP Edward Garnier told the Leicester Mercury today: 

“This is the justice select committee – it is not the drawing pins committee or the paperclips committee. It is not appropriate for an MP under investigation by the police to be on the committee.”

Meanwhile Arron Banks says he is considering running candidates against corrupt MPs, taking inspiration from Trump’s call to “drain the swamp”. Starting in Leicester East…

Now Mirror Joins Calls for Vaz to Go

vaz-drugs-probe

The Labour supporting Mirror is echoing Guido nowadays when it comes to Keith Vaz:

“While a police probe into his behaviour is ongoing, shamed Labour MP Keith Vaz should not be allowed to take his place on the Commons’ Justice Committee. Officers have confirmed they are investigating allegations he discussed the buying of cocaine with two prostitutes he hired. Parliament would be brought into disrepute and public contempt if Vaz sits on this important committee while the cloud of suspicion is hanging over him.”

Guido argued as far back as September that Vaz Broke “Intent to Supply” Law. How can an MP sit on the Justice Select Committee which has oversight of the Criminal Judicial system when he is under investigation by the police? This is simply not credible…

Another petty expense fiddle has also come to light this weekend, he claimed for UK travel expenses when he was overseas, just a run of the mill week for Keith Vaz. Guido understands there will be further moves to remove the crook from the Justice Select Committee next week. Law makers can not be law breakers…

Tory Whips on Vaz Justice Vote

Tory whips’ telling MPs to vote for Vaz…

“You’re voting for the process, not for him.”

Tory Whips Saved Vaz

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When 203 MPs voted for Keith Vaz to join the Justice select committee last night, everyone assumed Labour MPs had turned up to back their man. In actual fact, Guido can reveal that it was the Tories who whipped their side to secure Vaz’s position.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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