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  1. ITV Report

Keith Vaz resigns as chairman of Home Affairs Select Committee following male escorts scandal

Labour MP Keith Vaz has resigned as chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee just days after becoming embroiled in a male escorts scandal.

In a statement, he said: "I told the Committee today of my decision to stand aside immediately from Committee business, and my intention to resign."

Mr Vaz said the Committee's work should "be conducted without any distractions whatsoever", and "those who hold others to account, must themselves be accountable."

"This is my decision, and mine alone, and my first consideration has been the effect of recent events on my family", he added.

Conservative MP Tim Loughton, who now steps up as acting chair, said Mr Vaz intends to officially tender his resignation to the Speaker of the House of Commons on Wednesday.

MP Tim Loughton will now take up the role of acting committee chairman Credit: Pool

In a public show of defiance, the Labour MP appeared in the House of Commons chamber on Monday amid reports he could face a vote of no confidence from his fellow MPs if he refused to step aside voluntarily.

Prime Minister Theresa May added pressure when she said that voters must have confidence in their politicians.

On a visit to the G20 summit in China, Mrs May said: "What Keith does is for Keith and any decisions he wishes to make are for him."

I am immeasurably proud of the work the Committee has undertaken over the last 9 years, and I am privileged to have been the longest serving Chair of this Committee.

I would like to thank my fellow members of the Committee, past and present, for their tremendous support.

– Keith Vaz
Keith Vaz spoke at the House of Commons on Monday Credit: ITV News

In a Committee statement, Mr Loughton said: "Keith Vaz gave a very frank account of what had happened and he told us of his intention to resign as chairman".

He added: "With sadness we all accepted that that was the appropriate course of action that he has taken".

When asked whether he was a potential replacement for Mr Vaz, Labour MP Chuka Umunna said it was not an appropriate time to comment.

An election for a new Labour leader of the committee will held in due course.

Keith Vaz apologised to his wife and children after the reports emerged. Credit: PA

Mr 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.

The newspaper claims Mr Vaz met two male prostitutes for sex in a property he owned less than a mile from his family home.

He is also alleged to have asked pay for the Class A drug cocaine - although he said this was not for himself.

Mr Vaz indicated he will stand aside as chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee during a meeting on Monday.

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

  • Keith Vaz statement in full

It is in the best interest of the Home Affairs Select Committee that its important work can be conducted without any distractions whatsoever.

I am genuinely sorry that recent events make it impossible for this to happen if I remain Chair.

I have always been passionate about Select Committees, having served as either Chair or Member for half of my time in Parliament.

The integrity of the Select Committee system matters to me. Those who hold others to account, must themselves be accountable.

I am immeasurably proud of the work the Committee has undertaken over the last 9 years, and I am privileged to have been the longest serving Chair of this Committee. This work has included the publication of 120 reports, hearing evidence from Ministers 113 times, and hearing from a total of 1379 witnesses.

I am very pleased that so many Members of the Committee have gone onto high office and Ministerial positions.

I told the Committee today of my decision to stand aside immediately from Committee business, and my intention to resign. This is my decision, and mine alone, and my first consideration has been the effect of recent events on my family.

I have recommended that in the interim, Tim Loughton MP, the senior Conservative member, should Chair proceedings.

After speaking to the House authorities, I will formally tender my resignation to Mr Speaker so that it coincides with the timetable for the election of other Committee Chairs, such as the Brexit Committee, Culture, Media and Sport, and Science and Technology, so that the elections can take place together.

I would like to thank my fellow members of the Committee, past and present, for their tremendous support. I would also like to thank the Clerks of the House for the amazing work they have done to strengthen the Select Committee system, we are not quite on par with the United States, but we are getting there.

They are a vital body for the scrutiny of government. I would like to particularly thank my two Clerks, Tom Healey and Carol Oxborough.

– Keith Vaz statement