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Yvette Cooper to replace Keith Vaz on Home Affairs group

Yvette Cooper was elected as the new chairwoman of the Home Affairs committee Credit: PA

Labour's Yvette Cooper has been elected to replace Keith Vaz as the leader of the Home Affairs select committee.

Mr Vaz stepped down as chairman last month following a scandal over his alleged use of male escorts and has since been referred to the Commons standards watchdog.

Hillary Benn was also appointed as the chairman of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee.

The appointments were announced by the Commons Speaker John Bercow.


Police to investigate if Keith Vaz committed any crimes

Keith Vaz resigned as chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee Credit: PA

The Metropolitan Police have said they will look into allegations against Keith Vaz, and "assess and identify what criminal offences - if any - may have been committed".

Mr Vaz, 59, a married father of two, was exposed by the Sunday Mirror for allegedly paying male escorts for sex, resulting in his resignation as chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee.

The Labour MP also had a conversation about cocaine with one male escort where he said he did not want to use the drug, but suggested he would pay for it for the other man at a later date, according to the Sunday Mirror.

In the wake of the revelations, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen indicated that he would be asking Scotland Yard to investigate for misconduct in a public office and conspiracy to supply controlled substances.

Scotland Yard released a statement on Friday saying: "The letter has been forwarded to the Met's Special Inquiry Team, part of Specialist Crime and Operations, to assess and identify what criminal offences - if any - may have been committed.

"At this stage a police investigation has not been launched."

Flint joins race to replace Vaz at Home Affairs Committee

Caroline Flint is the first to publicly declare she will run Credit: PA

Caroline Flint is the latest Labour MP to join the race to replace Keith Vaz as chairperson of the powerful Commons Home Affairs Select Committee.

The former minister will battle it out with committee member Chuka Umunna, while former Cabinet minister Yvette Cooper is also considering running.

Ms Flint is the first to publicly declare that she is running, stating that the committee requires an "experienced, independent-minded chair".

Mr Vaz resigned on Tuesday after becoming embroiled in scandal about male escorts.


Keith Vaz back in Commons despite escort scandal

Keith Vaz did not mention the newspaper reports about him. Credit: House of Commons

Keith Vaz has returned to work in the House of Commons less than 24 hours after claims he paid two male escorts for sex.

Carrying on as if nothing had happened, the Labour MP arrived in the chamber around 15 minutes into Home Office question time taking his usual seat on the backbench.

He asked a question to Home Secretary Amber Rudd and later about the UK's plans to help with the humanitarian situation in Yemen - which is where he was born.

While Mr Vaz appeared calm and made no mention of any issues surrounding him when he spoke in the House of Commons, his MP sister's face told a different story.

Valerie Vaz is Labour MP for Walsall South. Credit: ITV News

Vaz, a married father-of-two, is facing a possible investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards after the male escort story appeared in the Sunday Mirror.

He indicated he will stand aside as chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee at a meeting on Tuesday.

It comes after he publicly apologised to his wife and children for the "hurt and distress" he caused them.

Prostitution inquiry 'should be scrapped after Vaz claims'

An inquiry into the way prostitution is treated in law led by Keith Vaz should be abandoned following allegations he paid for the services of male escorts, a campaign group has said.

Nordic Model Now argued that the Prostitution Inquiry should be abandoned after the allegations against Mr Vaz Credit: PA

Nordic Model Now (NMN) said the claims, made in the Sunday Mirror, amounted to a conflict of interest.

NMN advocates decriminalising prostitutes themselves and making buying sex a criminal offence.

The group has previously voiced opposition to an interim report by the Home Affairs Select Committee, which is leading the Prostitution Inquiry, over recommendations solicitation and sharing of premises by sex workers should be legalised.

NMN said the inquiry should now be disbanded and reformed with members obliged to declare any history of purchasing sex, as well as a mandatory 50 per cent of members being female.

Mr Vaz has called the report by the Sunday Mirror "deeply troubling".

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