Deputy speaker at House of Lords 'filmed snorting cocaine with two prostitutes'
Published 26/07/2015 | 09:56
Lord Sewel has resigned as Lords Deputy Speaker after The Sun on Sunday published video of him allegedly taking drugs with prostitutes.
The career of married Lord Sewel, a Deputy Speaker of the Lords, appeared to be in tatters on Sunday amid claims he took the Class A drug at a sex party.
Baron John Sewel, an ex-ally of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, was said to have been caught on video telling the £200-a-night prostitutes that he wanted to "be led astray".
In the footage, the 69-year-old cross-bench peer is said to have stripped naked in front of the pair in his flat near Westminster last week.
Hunched over a table, the former Labour minister for Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries is pictured with a rolled-up bank note in his hand as he appears to snort white powder.
The peer, who is married to Lady Jennifer, is seen in the footage with his wedding ring on show.
One of the escorts is said to have told Lord Sewel: "You're such a party animal!", before he allegedly replied: "I know. Disgusting, isn't it?"
He is alleged to have snorted three lines of cocaine during the 45-minute session.
Lord Sewel, a former senior vice principal of Aberdeen University, is paid £84,525 as chairman of the Lords' Privileges and Conduct Committee - the body that upholds standards of behaviour among peers.
Earlier this month, he wrote a blog for the Huffington Post website in which he spoke about the House of Lords' new powers to banish peers who breach the code of conduct.
"The actions of a few damage our reputation," wrote Lord Sewel. "Scandals make good headlines.
"All Members now sign a declaration to obey the code and the seven principles of public life. The requirement that Members must always act on their personal honour has been reinforced.
"No system of regulation can be perfect, but the House of Lords has come a long way since 2010 in improving its regulation of its Members and punishing the small number who misbehave. Today's new sanctions strengthen the regime further."
Lord Sewel declined to comment to the Sun on Sunday about the footage said to have been filmed at his flat in Dolphin Square.