Keith Vaz’s charity links to rent boy scandal
male prostitutes secretly recorded at his flat received money from a man
linked to the Labour MP’s charity.
The Charity Commission said it would look into allegations that the
Leicester East MP and chairman of the powerful home affairs select
committee used funds reportedly from an individual linked to the Silver
Star diabetes charity to pay Eastern Europe escorts with whom he had a
liaison at his London flat last month.
Mr Vaz, whose role on the select committee gives him enormous
influence over policy on vice and drug issues, is accused of having sex
with three prostitutes and even offering to pay for cocaine for them.
He has told friends the claims are untrue and has suggested he may have been the victim of a “sting” in which he was deliberately drugged.
confirm whether he intended to resign as chairman of the home affairs
select committee. Mr Vaz set up Silver Star six years ago after being
diagnosed with diabetes. The charity operates worldwide to raise
awareness of the condition.
Asked if the payments were made by a man linked to Silver Star, a
friend of Mr Vaz said it was “rubbish”, adding: “The people who paid
this money had nothing to do with Silver Star.”
one of the male prostitutes purportedly show two payments of £150 each
received from a man linked to Silver Star.
The first of these payments was made on Aug 5, three weeks before the alleged liaison, although the prostitutes claimed they met Mr Vaz – who is married with two children – on more than one occasion.
There is no suggestion that anyone associated with Silver Star was
aware what the payments were for, but last night a former trustee of the
charity said the matter had to be investigated as a matter of urgency.
down from his volunteer role three months ago, said: “We need to find
out what has been going on. There will be an investigation.
“Our charity is a worldwide charity, with its headquarters in
Leicester and we do good work raising health awareness for diabetes
“Mr Vaz founded it and is the patron. I cannot believe he would use
anyone linked to the charity to pay cash into an account to pay for his
escorts. It would be too clear and obvious. We are a completely open
charity and I’m in the process of making enquiries.”
Andrew Bridgen, a Tory MP, said: “I will be writing to the charity
commission to ask if they will investigate the financial links and
relationship between the charity, Mr Vaz and paying for male
John Mann, a Labour colleague of Mr Vaz, also said the Charity
Commission needed to establish exactly what had happened with the
payments. “I am sure they are going to do that straightaway,” he said.
everything and then people can make their own judgment. If it was true
it would be horrific.”
Officials at the Charity Commission said the regulator would be looking at the payments to ensure there was nothing untoward.
A spokesman said: “We will assess this information to determine
whether there is any role for us … we will be looking in to it.”
Mr Vaz was last night said to be determined to prove his innocence. A
friend claimed the two prostitutes had actually been painters who had
come to redecorate a new flat he had bought close to his family home in
publisher of the Sunday Mirror, said the newspaper stood by its story:
“This is not a sting. This is not a set-up, we have not entrapped him
into anything he was not doing anyway.”
In a statement, Mr Vaz said: “It is deeply disturbing that a national
newspaper should have paid individuals to have acted in this way. I
have referred these allegations to my solicitor who will consider them
carefully and advise me accordingly.
“At this time I do not want there to be any distraction from the
important work the home affairs select committee undertakes so well.
“Select committees do vital work in holding the government and others
to account. I will of course inform committee members first of my plans
when we meet on Tuesday. My decision has been based entirely on what is
in the best interests of the committee which I have had the privilege
of chairing for the last nine years.”
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