Drugs, prostitutes smear House of Lords standards watchdog
A DISGRACED politician supposed to uphold parliamentary standards who was filmed snorting cocaine with prostitutes is facing calls to stand down from Britain’s House of Lords.
Lord John Sewel, 69, was reported to the police and quit as deputy Speaker of the Lords after the video emerged.
Until Sunday he chaired a commit- tee on the conduct of peers and has said: “The actions of a few damage our reputation. Scandals make good headlines.”
Outraged watchdogs and politicians say the married father of four should be booted out of Parliament. New laws brought in on July 16 now allow peers to expel colleagues for misconduct. Obtained by The Sunday Sun, the video shows Lord Sewel – who served as a minister under Labour prime minister Tony Blair – romping with two women at his rentprotected flat near Parliament.
He snorted cocaine from one of the prostitutes’ breasts after turning a photo of his wife face down on a desk.
Police are under pressure to investigate the video, arrest the shamed peer and search his apartment. Cocaine possession attracts a maximum sentence of seven years.
Lord Sewel has resigned as chairman of the privileges and conduct committee and as deputy Speaker.
Alistair Graham, former head of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said Lord Sewel’s behaviour was staggering and he could have no “credibility with the public as a legislator”.
Kevin Barron, a Labour MP and chairman of the House of Commons committee on standards, said: “Under the circumstances, he’s hardly in a position to sit in judgment on people.”
Baroness D’Souza, the Lords Speaker, branded his behaviour “shocking and unacceptable”.