Labour’s Keith Vaz will not stand for re-election

Keith VazImage copyright
PA Media

Labour’s Keith Vaz, who was suspended from the Commons after he was found to have “expressed willingness” to purchase cocaine for others, will not be standing for re-election.

Mr Vaz, who has been MP for Leicester East for 32 years, said in a statement he was retiring from Parliament.

He said it had been “an honour and a privilege” to serve his constituency.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he had “made a substantial and significant contribution to public life”.

Mr Vaz was suspended for six months after a scathing report by the Commons standards commission, which found he “disregarded” the law by “expressing a willingness” to help buy cocaine for male prostitutes.

He had been re-selected as Labour’s candidate in Leicester East a few weeks before the publication of the standards report.

If he had been re-elected in 12 December’s general election he could have taken up his seat, with the suspension requiring a new vote in the next Parliament.

Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee failed to reach a decision on Mr Vaz’s future last week – but he has faced calls from Labour allies to stand down.

Labour’s Keith Vaz will not stand for re-election}