Tabloids have been having a field day with news that a married British lawmaker allegedly paid for male escorts and offered them flirty drugs.
Mere days after The Sunday Mirror ran an exposé, Labour Party member Keith Vaz stepped down, saying the move was “in the best interest of the Home Affairs Select Committee.”
In a statement, Vaz expressed boilerplate remorse:
“I am genuinely sorry that recent events make it impossible for this to happen if I remain chair.”
He added that he finds it “deeply disturbing that a national newspaper should have paid individuals to have acted in this way” and intimates that he plans to get lawyers involved.
The Sunday Mirror says the report is totally justified by Vaz’s responsibilities and influence on politics, particularly since he enjoyed a powerful role in the Home Office, which controls Britain’s policies on sex work and drugs.
Before his announcement, fellow politicians suggested his resignation was a foregone conclusion.
John Whittingdale, who worked as a secretary under former Prime Minister David Cameron told Sky News, “Given the areas of which the committee is responsible, that does seem to me to be a sensible course of action.”
As The New York Times reports, Vaz allegedly met with two male escorts on August 27th at a London apartment. He apparently asked one of them to bring poppers, and said he’d pay for cocaine but wouldn’t snort any of it. The encounter was apparently videotaped and the footage was posted online.
The poppers detail might be a bit unnecessary, but it’s worth noting Vaz argued against adding them to a list of banned substances, so at least he’s not a complete hypocrite.
Despite telling the escorts he was a washing machine salesman named Jim, one of them apparently recognized him from the news and decided to blab to the papers.