Keith Vaz MP, a disappointment!

When Keith Vaz MP, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, was cutting the ribbon at the opening of a vegetarian care home in Harrow last week, who could have known that his political career would come under hammer within days.
Last Sunday a tabloid claimed that Mr Vaz acquired male prostitutes services and asked one of them to bring Poppers, a sex-enhancing drug used by gay men, which the government wanted to ban.
Mr Vaz reportedly did not comment on the truth or otherwise of the allegations but said he was referring the tabloid’s allegations to his solicitor. He has now stepped down as chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
Sun reported that Tory MP Andrew Bridgen published three letters of complaint about Mr Vaz — sent to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, the Charity Commission and the Metropolitan Police.
kvMr Vaz’s Silver Star (diabetic charity) London office is in Harrow – some of its Harrow based activities.
It is not the first time that a MP’s sexual life has surfaced, and normally there is a liberal consensus of opinion that sexual habits of MPs are a personal matter.
However, in this case there are some additional concerns:
The home affairs select committee is carrying out an inquiry into prostitution, focusing on the burden of criminality on those who pay for sex. Also, seemingly Mr Vaz argued in parliament that the Poppers should not be included in a list of substances banned by the Psychoactive Substances Act.
The second point is about the characteristic and expectations of Leicester East constituency that Keith Vaz MP represents.
The constituency has one of the highest Asian populations of any British constituency. In the 2001 census two-thirds of the population were non-white and 58% of people described themselves as Asian. Almost a third of the population here are Hindu, although there are also significant number of Muslims and Sikhs.
It is quite understandable that Leicester East community expects high moral standards from its representatives, in line with its dominant socio-cultural norms and values. Therefore, no difficulty in agreeing with the prime minister that ‘people want confidence in their politicians’, a comment she made after the Sunday tabloid report.