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British MP in drug scandal steps down

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

London, United Kingdom   /   Tue, November 12, 2019   /   08:28 am
British MP in drug scandal steps down Keith Vaz, Labour MP listens to speeches on the third day of the Labour party conference in Liverpool, north west England on September 25, 2018. (AFP/Oli Scarff)

Veteran British lawmaker Keith Vaz has announced he is standing down from parliament, just weeks after he was censured in a cocaine scandal.

Vaz, who was born to Goan parents in Yemen, was first elected for the central English city of Leicester in 1987. He will not stand again in next month's vote, he announced late Sunday.

A parliamentary watchdog last month recommended Vaz be suspended for six months for expressing a willingness to buy cocaine during an encounter with two male prostitutes.

The Sunday Mirror tabloid reported in September 2016 that Vaz, posing as an industrial washing machine salesman called Jim, invited the pair into his flat and offered to pay for cocaine for another man to use.

The watchdog said his suggestion that the men were there to discuss redecorating the London flat was "ludicrous".

Vaz, 62, said at the time he had been treated for a serious mental health condition as a result of the incident.