Tuesday 21 November 2017

Cameron leads calls for Sewel to resign over cocaine video

Scandal: Baron John Sewel
Scandal: Baron John Sewel

Michael Wilkinson in London

BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron has called for John Sewel to either resign or be expelled from the House of Lords.

Mr Cameron made the remarks after allegations that the Labour peer snorted cocaine while cavorting with prostitutes. He resigned as Deputy Speaker of the Lords on Sunday but is facing calls to resign from parliament.

There are "questions" as to whether Mr Sewel is fit to sit in the Upper House despite him still being allowed to claim up to £300 a day in parliamentary allowances while any investigation is carried out.

"These are very serious allegations," Mr Cameron said.

"I think it's right he has stood down from his committee posts and I'm sure further questions will be asked about whether it is appropriate to have someone legislating and acting in the House of Lords if they have genuinely behaved in this way

"It's still going to take some time, I suspect, to get to the full truth."

The disgraced former Deputy Speaker of the Lords has indicated that he would not quit his role as a peer despite fresh pictures emerging of him wearing a prostitute's orange bra at a sex party.

Sewel, who has been suspended from the Labour party, will "tough it out" by not resigning, the BBC has reported.

Sewel served as a minister under Tony Blair, and will be able to continue to speak from the red benches and make full use of the House of Lords while his activities are probed.

The House of Lords authorities may face a delay of up to a year before they can use new powers to suspend or expel Sewel.

The Labour MP John Mann led calls for Sewel to be thrown out of parliament after the Speaker of the Lords, Frances D'Souza, described the crossbench peer's alleged behaviour as "shocking and unacceptable".

But the code of conduct for the House of Lords makes clear that any investigation by the commissioner for standards in the upper house has to be suspended if a matter is being investigated by the police.

The married peer was forced to resign on Sunday after he was caught on video apparently snorting cocaine while cavorting with two prostitutes.

Meanwhile, the House of Lords has had "no correspondence or indication from Mr Sewel as to his intentions", The Telegraph reported.

New pictures showing him reclining with a cigarette whilst dressed in a bra and woman's leather jacket have been published by 'The Sun' newspaper.

Lord Sewel of Gilcomstoun (69) is said to have been recorded branding David Cameron "the most facile, superficial prime minister there's ever been" during the session with two £200-a-night prostitutes at his Dolphin Square flat in Westminster.

He reportedly said: "He just shoots from the hip. He is false. He makes one-off commitments and cannot deliver."

He labelled Mayor of London Boris Johnson "a joke" and a "public school upper class twit", adding: "He plays well in London because they like a cheeky chappie. Can you present Boris Johnson in Preston, in Burnley, in Manchester? No, they just think he's an a***hole."

Sewel, who was responsible for upholding standards in the Lords, also described Scottish MP Alex Salmond as a "silly, pompous prat".

Asked by one of the women, whose voice is disguised, about former Labour prime minister Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq, Sewel said the former party leader did so "because he fell in love with George Bush".

He claimed Blair's wife, Cherie, was "obsessed with money".

A bottle of what appears to be vodka sits on the table while Sewel drinks from a glass at various points during his conversation with the women.

'The Sun' also reported that Sewel said the Labour leadership race was "in a f***ing mess".

He is said to have called Jeremy Corbyn "useless" and "a romantic idiot" and claimed Andy Burnham has been "terribly contradictory" and "goes whichever way the wind is blowing".

He said Yvette Cooper was "OK but not strong" and appeared to forget Liz Kendall's name, describing her as "a Blair supporter who is just too naive".

The one politician Sewel did say something positive about was George Osborne, the chancellor, who he described as a "very, very consummate politician" who would one day be prime minister.

The Lords authorities have said they will call in Scotland Yard over the footage. (© Daily Telegraph London)


Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in World News