Keith Vaz quits key Commons role after rent boy revelations

LabourMP, Keith Vaz

Keith Vaz is to quit as chairman of the influential House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee in the UK after he was embroiled in rent boy revelations.

Announcing his resignation, the British Labour MP said: “Those who hold others to account must themselves be accountable.”

Mr Vaz’s statement had been circulated to media under an embargo until later on Tuesday but it was widely reported on social media.

Mr Vaz said: “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.”

He insisted he was “immeasurably proud” of the work the committee has undertaken over the last nine years, adding that he is “privileged to have been the longest serving chair of this committee”.

Mr Vaz said: “This work has included the publication of 120 reports, hearing evidence from ministers 113 times, and hearing from a total of 1,379 witnesses.”

He said the decision to resign and stand aside immediately from the committee’s business was “my decision, and mine alone” and “my first consideration has been the effect of recent events on my family”.

Mr Vaz has recommended that, in the interim, Conservative MP Tim Loughton should chair proceedings.
He said: “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.”

He thanked fellow committee members past and present “for their tremendous support”, as well as Commons and committee clerks.

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