British Lord in alleged cocaine video seeks leave of absence

AP News
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Posted: Jul 27, 2015 1:52 PM
British Lord in alleged cocaine video seeks leave of absence

LONDON (AP) — House of Lords member John Sewel has requested a leave of absence while police and Parliament investigate his alleged drug use and sexual behavior.

He was filmed and photographed in an alleged cocaine-and-sex session with prostitutes that has already cost him his position as deputy speaker.

Sewel said Monday he has "no intention" of returning to the House of Lords until the investigations have been completed. He said he believes his decision is consistent with due process.

The Sun newspaper on Monday published a front-page photograph of Sewel wearing an orange bra belonging to one of the prostitutes. He was also heard in a video talking about British political figures.

A police statement said a warrant was executed in central London Monday as part of an inquiry into "allegations of drug-related offenses involving a member of the House of Lords." Police said no arrests had been made "at this stage."

As deputy speaker, one of his roles was enforcing standards in the House of Lords. He was a Labour Party ally of former Prime Minister Tony Blair.