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. A disbelieving Conservative MP tells Guido that as he walked through the voting Lobby he saw a group of Tory whips ordering their MPs to vote for Vaz. There was no Labour whipping operation, only a small number of Labour MPs turned up for the vote. As a result 159 of the 203 MPs who voted for Vaz were Tories, including ministers like Amber Rudd, Jeremy Hunt and Liam Fox. The whips’ pathetic argument was “you’re voting for the process, not for him”This decision to appoint a crook to the Justice committee is one of parliament’s most shameful acts in recent years – and the Tories are the ones responsible…

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Labour MPs Vote to Appoint Vaz to Justice Committee

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Labour MPs have turned up in numbers to vote for Keith Vaz tonight. A proven crook is now on the Justice Select Committee. Shame on parliament…

UPDATE: It’s a different picture now we have the names

Keith Vaz is Not a Fit and Proper Person for Parliament’s Justice Committee

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Guido has been following the shenanigans of Keith Vaz for over a decade. It is Guido’s considered opinion that he is not a fit and proper person to be on the Justice Select Committee – for which he is standing. This has nothing to do with his sexuality. He is just plain dishonest.

Many will say that the dishonesty in his private life is a matter for him and his wife. Putting the prostitutes and the question of attempting to procure illegal drugs aside, if we must, there is the fact that as slippery as Vaz is, he has still managed to get caught for the following;

  • He was suspended from parliament for making false allegations against the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.
  • It was found that he had given false information to the Standards and Privileges Committee and Elizabeth Filkin about his financial relationship to the Hinduja brothers.
  • Failing to register his paid employment at the Leicester Law Centre when he first entered parliament in 1987.
  • Failing to register a donation from the Caparo group in 1993.
  • Failing to register complimentary hospitality and hotel rooms supplied by Indian tycoon Joginder Sanger which he used for encounters with young men in 2013 and 2014.
  • He denied receiving cash from from a solicitor, Sarosh Zaiwalla. He was later found to have received £4,500 and censured as a result.
  • He has previously been found in Contempt of the House.
  • He lobbied against the extradition of the Anglo-Iraqi billionaire Nadhmi Auchi to France when he was in the pay of one of his companies.
  • He was described by then MP Patrick Mercer, as “a crook of the first order”, when recruiting him to his TV sting exposé inspired APPG. Mercer had chosen to recruit him because he said he had “never met an operator like him… I mean it’s not always completely ethical, but it’s stunning, he is an operator”.
  • Despite living just 45 minutes from Westminster Vaz claimed expenses for a Westminster flat.
  • Prostitutes were paid off by an employee of Vaz’s charity.
  • For some reason Leicestershire police, despite considering a range of possible offences including; wasteful employment of the police, attempting to pervert the course of justice and road traffic offences, have failed to prosecute him. Ordinary police officers felt he was untouchable by virtue of his position of influence on the Home Affairs Committee. Putting him on the Justice Committee risks repeating that error of judgement. 

The Justice Select Committee will soon be considering the government’s proposals for “Unexplained Wealth Orders”, new asset confiscation powers and powers to designate persons of “significant money laundering concern”. Vaz has over the last 16 years declared little in outside earnings yet somehow has amassed a £4 million property portfolio. In 2012 Scotland Yard was reportedly investigating hundreds of thousands held in various accounts controlled by Vaz. An understated Scotland Yard report recorded “There are numerous unexplained payments into the accounts and large transfers between accounts that require further investigation” and that “the level of funds received … are of a suspicious nature”. Quite.

How can Vaz sit on a committee that is going to consider legislation that will surely apply to him? Andrew Bridgen intends to object to the appointment of Keith Vaz to the Justice Select Committee – the first such objection this century. Unless Vaz’s allies talk it out this will result in a division tonight and a vote on the propriety of Vaz sitting on a powerful legislative body. It will only bring shame to parliament if this crook is elected to the the Justice Committee…

Breakfast With Jez And Jim

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Keith Vaz did not get the party started at conference, sadly cancelling his famous annual Diversity Night bash. He surfaced this morning however at the Pullman hotel, queuing with Jezza at the breakfast buffet. The Labour leader said a few words, slapped Jim on the back and walked to a separate table. Rice Krispies on the menu – snap, crackle and poppers?

 via @SamCoatesTimes

Standards Commissioner Rejects Vaz Complaint

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Can’t think what motivated Keith Vaz to make a complaint about neighbouring Tory MP Andrew Bridgen to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner. Vaz still hasn’t actually delivered on his threat to sue Bridgen for defamation – possibly because the allegations he makes are true. Anyway slippery Vaz has released a statement:

Right Honourable Keith Vaz MP said:

“I welcome the inquiry by the Commissioner, following the complaint made against me by Andrew Bridgen, the Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire, which will provide important clarification.

She has suggested that my complaint against Mr Bridgen should be referred to the Secretary of State for Transport and I will follow her advice.”

Apparently because Bridgen, like many who have a home in the path of HS2, sold it at a loss to the Department of Transport, he is guilty of something. The Standards Commissioner has basically told Vaz to get lost…

Keith Vaz’s Parliamentary Pass for Romanian “Driver”

Pictured here with Keith Vaz on the Commons terrace is a young Romanian man called Daniel Dragusin. The pair met shortly after Dragusin came to England in 2010. Soon after, Vaz began employing Dragusin as his “driver“. In 2012 Dragusin was awarded a parliamentary pass by Lord King, a close friend of Vaz. Former employees of Lord King say Dragusin never did any work for him. Dragusin has since landed a job at Vaz’s charity Silver Star. Crucially, it was he who processed the two £150 payments to Vaz’s rent boys…

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This text exchange published by the Sunday Mirror is between Keith Vaz, on the left, and one of the rent boys, on the right. Vaz asks the rent boy if any of his Romanian friends want a job as a “driver“. The same job he offered Dragusin. Just who is this mysterious young Romanian “driver” who Keith Vaz helped secure access to the corridors of power? Curiouser and curiouser…

Scotland Yard “Assessing” Vaz Allegations

Scotland Yard’s “Special Inquiry Team” say they are to “assess and identify what criminal offences – if any – may have been committed” by Keith Vaz. Developing…

Parliamentary Crime Scene

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A co-conspirator calls Guido with shocking news:

“The Members Only gents on the Library corridor is ‘a crime scene’ and closed. Somebody has graffitied ‘Vaz loves man bum’ in a cubicle. They are cleaning it off.”

In the MPs-only posh toilets?

Vaz Didn’t Declare Hotels Used For Encounters With Young Men

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Tuesday’s Sun reported that between September 2013 and December 2014 Keith Vaz “often” stayed at the Washington Mayfair hotel, and “sometimes there were other young men with him”. The paper says Vaz does not appear to have been charged for the bookings. Receipts were signed off “As per Mr J. Sanger”, suggesting they were freebies from the hotel’s mega-rich Indian owner Joginder Sanger. MPs are required to declare all hospitality over the threshold in the Register of Interests:

“Over £660 for the total of benefits of whatever size from the same source in a calendar year”

Vaz made no declaration of free hotel stays in 2013 or 2014…

Just three stays plus a few drinks bills would have put Vaz over the threshold. Hotel workers suggest it was more regular than that:

“Keith Vaz would often arrive at very short notice. Sometimes there were other young men with him. There were a number of times when he didn’t stay the whole night. He would stay for just a few hours before checking out.”

If Vaz stayed there often and for free, the hotel rooms used for liaisons with young men should have been declared to the Commons authorities. All this seems so far removed from Vaz’s promise when he was first elected that he would only accept a workers’ wage and donate his parliamentary salary to his constituency Labour Party:

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Somehow he has managed to make millions and the mystery source of his wealth is unexplained, least of all to his local Labour Party…

Tories: “Lawmakers Cannot Be Lawbreakers”, Vaz Must Go

Leicester Tory councillor Ross Grant has told the Daily Politics that Keith Vaz must resign as an MP because “lawmakers cannot be lawbreakers”. Grant says it is nonsense to argue this is a private matter because Vaz broke the law by offering to supply a Class A drug. Another happy reader.

Sky and the Sun are reporting Vaz will step down from his select committee role. That won’t make the pressure go away…

Ken Defends Vaz

Ken Livingstone defends Keith Vaz:

“Don’t judge someone on the basis of one incident. Everyone makes mistakes.”

Vaz Charity Retains Carter Ruck

Keith Vaz’s diabetes charity Silver Star made the front page of the Telegraph yesterday and was covered extensively in the Mail and the Sun. The allegation – fiercely denied – is that the rent boys at Keith/Jim’s flat received money from a man linked to the charity. Silver Star deny this and have retained Carter Ruck, firing off letters to several newspapers complaining how unfair it is to have their name linked to this sordid affair. Carter Ruck usually charge £500 an hour. That’s a very expensive law firm for a relatively small charity…

Vaz Broke “Intent to Supply” Law

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Lawmakers cannot be law breakers. This is even more crucial when it comes to being chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee which influences the drafting of criminal laws.

Jeremy Corbyn said on Sunday that he didn’t believe that Keith Vaz had broken the law so it was a “private matter”.

The CPS prosecutors guidance for the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is relevant here

Evidence of intent to supply

An intention to supply may be proved by direct evidence in the form of admissions or witness testimony, for example, surveillance evidence …

Offering/being concerned

In addition to the supply of a controlled drug, section 4(3)(a)-(c) of the Act creates offences of offering to supply, being concerned in the supply and being concerned in the making of an offer to supply.

An offence of offering to supply can be prosecuted simply by proving the existence of an offer. The prosecution does not have to prove either that the defendant intended to produce the drugs or that the drugs were in his possession. The offer may be by words or conduct (R v Showers [1995] Crim. LR 400).

Vaz, in offering to buy cocaine for the rent boy, has broken laws which he helped to draft. Even if you take the view that Guido does that this is a bad law, one thing is certain, “Lawmakers cannot be law breakers”…

UPDATE: A previous version of this article quoted from the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 which came into force on May 26 this year, this also makes it an offence to produce, supply or offer to supply psycho-active substances – this counter-intuitively does not include cocaine

Right Honourable Keith Vaz All Over Front PAges

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He usually loves publicity…

Commons Silent as Vaz Speaks

Vaz scuttled into the chamber to welcome the new Home Secretary into her job. He was heard in silence. Time to get this party started…

Keith Vaz Threatens to Sue

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Keith Vaz’s lawyers are threatening to sue his neighbouring MP, Andrew Bridgen:

Dear Mr Bridgen

We act on behalf of your fellow Leicestershire MP, Keith Vaz.

Our client has been, for quite some time, aware that you have been maliciously spreading false and highly defamatory scuttlebutt about him. You know that these allegations are wholly false and it is troubling that a fellow Member of Parliament from a neighbouring constituency should be so recklessly indifferent as to the truth.

Mr Vaz has for some time now chosen to ignore your increasingly desperate attempts to besmirch him. Mainly because as you did so, the people to whom you spoke, including include your fellow conservative (sic) MP’s have told Mr Vaz. However, the time has come where our client will no longer tolerate your spreading of intentional untruths. We are writing to put you on formal notice that if this shabby behaviour continues our client will no longer turn a blind eye to this and take steps to sue you personally for libel and false privacy, conspiracy to injure and indeed any other appropriate torts, holding you personally responsible not only for damages but also costs.

This letter does not require a substantive response, but does require an acknowledgement of receipt so that it is abundantly clear you understand the jeopardy in which you now stand.

Who to believe; Keith Vaz, a well known liar caught consorting with rent boys, or the MP who called him a liar who consorted with rent-boys? Isn’t it all a bit late now Keith?

May Knifes Vaz

Theresa May as good as tells Keith Vaz to resign:

“I have always been clear throughout my political career that I think what is important for people is that they feel that they are able to have confidence in their politicians. That’s what I think we all have a duty to provide for those that elect us. What Keith does is for Keith and any decisions he wishes to make are for him, but overall I think what people look for is confidence in their politicians.

Pretty clear the PM doesn’t think he should be MP either…

BBC Investigated Vaz Last Year

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A team of BBC journalists was given high-level clearance to investigate serious sex allegations concerning Keith Vaz last year. The special unit was led by a reporter who specialises in sex crime stories. It interviewed a number of witnesses and found evidence that Vaz had cheated on his wife with young men. The team was reportedly given significant resources and director general Tony Hall was informed – unsurprising given the high-profile target and in the wake of the Newsnight / Lord McAlpine debacle. The investigation also looked at a number of as yet unpublished allegations. Wonder what they found? And why the programme never aired…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

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Keith Vaz Told Commons He Was “Surprised” MPs Used Poppers

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Look back at Keith Vaz’s interventions in the Commons debate on drugs in January. Just eight months ago, Vaz told the House of his “great surprise” at revelations MPs had used poppers:

“The shadow Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham (Lyn Brown), has said—this was a bit of shock for me after 28 years in this House—that Ministers have stood at the Dispatch Box having had poppers.

[…] Read the rest

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