Drugs, pros­ti­tutes smear House of Lords stan­dards watchdog

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

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”.

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