Matthew Moore has an article in today’s Telegraph about our old friend Keith Vaz MP. It seems that he has been up to his old tricks, and has yet again been caught out doing dodgy favors for friends. He is now facing calls to resign as chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee after a letter emerged in which he asked a High Court judge to halt a case against a “friend” who stood to lose £400,000. I think the judge told him where to get off but that’s beside the point.
Vaz’s intervention was on behalf of “his friend” Shahrokh Mireskandari, who is a high-profile solicitor, Labour party donor, and a frequent provider of hospitality for Vaz. Whilst an MP lobbying a judge to help out a friend is bad enough, Vaz went one better.
According to Matthew Moore “It has now been confirmed that Mr Vaz signed the letter in his capacity chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, sparking claims that he abused his position.”
This is disgraceful and is one of the most blatant abuses of office I have ever heard of, what the hell was he thinking when he signed that letter? Obviously not a lot. Dominic Grieve said that the news “casts real doubt on his continuing as chair.”
Matthew Moor then goes into detail on what the newly published letter reveals:
In the letter sent on June 19, Mr Vaz, MP for Leicester East, said that he was “deeply concerned” about how the “ethnic-minority” law firm Dean and Dean had been dealt with, and called for the hearing to be adjourned.
This is the usual Vaz trick, just label anyone who attacks or raises questions about anyone who is an ethnic minority as a racist.
The company, which is run by Mr Mireskandari, faced bankruptcy if the judge ordered it to pay £400,000 to an airline after a long-running contractual dispute.
The note, which was written on House of Commons notepaper and did not mention Mr Vaz’s personal relationship with the solicitor, was reportedly dismissed by the judge.
It was co-signed by Virendra Sharma, Labour MP for Ealing Southall, who has subsequently said she was not aware of the extent of Mr Vaz’s friendship with Mr Mireskandari.
Last night Mr Vaz told the Daily Mail: “The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has considered all the evidence on this matter and dismissed the complaints in full. I have nothing to add.”
Something smells rotten here, if Vaz had any dignity or sense of shame he would resign. He won’t of course because he is one of the least honorable of honorable members to ever grace parliament. Parliamentary standards reform must be one of David Cameron’s top priorities if he wins the next general election, as MPs of all parties have brought the system into disrepute. At the moment the Parliamentary Commission for Standards is toothless, it just returns whatever verdict the MP under investigation wants with minimal consequences. People like Vaz will continue to abuse their positions until they learn that there are consequences to their actions.