An ethics advocate who serves as a deputy speaker of the House of Lords has been busted by a British tabloid, allegedly doing cocaine with a pair of prostitutes. This, as you might expect, is stirring up some scandal.
The Sun on Sunday published footage that shows a man they allege is Baron John Sewel—formerly a minister under Tony Blair—doing illegal drugs during an illegal sexual liaison. In the video the man also remarks that young Asian women “sort of look innocent but you know they’re whores,” adding that, “That’s a really nice combination isn’t it?” He also complains for a bit about the high cost of renting in London, when his House of Lords stipend is so meager:
“The trouble is these f***ing s**ts who live in London and don’t have to pay rent.
“They’ve already got a house in London. They get exactly the same so it’s free money to them.
“I mean the lawyers, the people in the City, people like that. They’re coming in.
“They do f*** all work in the Lords, they’re picking up their £200.
“People like me who have to rent somewhere — I don’t know . . . ”
And yet he told one of the women that “I do spend [the stipend] on wine and different things.”
Sewel was (until resigning over this scandal) Chairman of Committees, which oversees the House of Lords’ code of conduct. And as the Telegraph points out, he helped spearhead the new House of Lords (Suspension and Expulsion) Act 2015, which—in a twist of fate—updated their rules and made it possible to boot a member permanently. Though, as you can see from an op-ed Sewell recently published on the Huffington Post, those rules were largely focused not on sex and drugs, but rather financial shenanigans and favor-trading. Making sure peers prioritize the public interest, rather than lining their own pockets.
So far he’s still a member of the House of Lords. But the BBC reports that speaker Baroness D’Souza has said she’s involving the police and called Sewel’s alleged actions “shocking and unacceptable.” “The House of Lords will continue to uphold standards in public life and will not tolerate departure from these standards,” she said. The Telegraph reports that David 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.”
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