Guido has been following the shenanigans of Keith Vaz for over a decade. It is Guido’s considered opinion that he is not a fit and proper person to be on the Justice Select Committee – for which he is standing. This has nothing to do with his sexuality. He is just plain dishonest.
Many will say that the dishonesty in his private life is a matter for him and his wife. Putting the prostitutes and the question of attempting to procure illegal drugs aside, if we must, there is the fact that as slippery as Vaz is, he has still managed to get caught for the following;
- He was suspended from parliament for making false allegations against the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.
- It was found that he had given false information to the Standards and Privileges Committee and Elizabeth Filkin about his financial relationship to the Hinduja brothers.
- Failing to register his paid employment at the Leicester Law Centre when he first entered parliament in 1987.
- Failing to register a donation from the Caparo group in 1993.
- Failing to register complimentary hospitality and hotel rooms supplied by Indian tycoon Joginder Sanger which he used for encounters with young men in 2013 and 2014.
- He denied receiving cash from from a solicitor, Sarosh Zaiwalla. He was later found to have received £4,500 and censured as a result.
- He has previously been found in Contempt of the House.
- He lobbied against the extradition of the Anglo-Iraqi billionaire Nadhmi Auchi to France when he was in the pay of one of his companies.
- He was described by then MP Patrick Mercer, as “a crook of the first order”, when recruiting him to his TV exposé inspired APPG sting. Mercer had chosen to recruit him because he said he had “never met an operator like him… I mean it’s not always completely ethical but it’s stunning, he is an operator”.
- Despite living just 45 minutes from Westminster Vaz claimed expenses for a Westminster flat.
- Prostitutes were paid off by an employee of Vaz’s charity.
- For some reason Leicestershire police, despite considering a range of possible offences including; wasteful employment of the police, attempting to pervert the course of justice and road traffic offences, have failed to prosecute him. Ordinary police officers felt he was untouchable by virtue of his position of influence on the Home Affairs Committee. Putting him on the Justice Committee risks repeating that error of judgement.
The Justice Select Committee will soon be considering the government’s proposals for “Unexplained Wealth Orders”, new asset confiscation powers and powers to designate persons of “significant money laundering concern”. Vaz has over the last 16 years declared little in outside earnings yet somehow has amassed a £4 million property portfolio. In 2012 Scotland Yard was reportedly investigating hundreds of thousands held in various accounts controlled by Vaz. An understated Scotland Yard report recorded “There are numerous unexplained payments into the accounts and large transfers between accounts that require further investigation” and that “the level of funds received … are of a suspicious nature”. Quite.
How can Vaz sit on a committee that is going to consider legislation that will surely apply to him? Andrew Bridgen intends to object to the appointment of Keith Vaz to the Justice Select Committee – the first such objection this century. Unless Vaz’s allies talk it out this will result in a division tonight and a vote on the propriety of Vaz sitting on a powerful legislative body. It will only bring shame to parliament if this crook is elected to the the Justice Committee…