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Tipsheet

UK Lords Deputy Speaker Resigns after Cocaine and Hooker Binge

WESTMINSTER, United Kingdom – Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords has resigned his seat after being filmed taking cocaine with prostitutes. Before the scandal broke at the weekend Lord Sewel was a highly respected figure in the Labour Party and even chaired the House of Lords Standards Committee.

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The Sun newspaper first exposed his actions on Sunday and he resigned as Deputy Speaker but reportedly wanted to stay on as a member of the Lords.
He announced he would take a leave of absence from the House, which is fairly common among peers as they are appointed for life. The 69-year-old would have been able to end the leave at anytime.
Last night his home in Dolphin Square close to Parliament was raided by thge Metropolitan Police. They confirmed his activities were now under criminal investigation.
In addition to sleeping with prostitutes and taking drugs Sewel also made a series of indiscreet comments about other senior politicians. He claimed former Prime Minister Tony Blair had “fallen in love” with George Bush, who himself was “crap”. Sewel also said the current Prime Minister, David Cameron, was “facile” and “superficial”.
This morning he issued the following statement: “I have today written to the Clerk of the Parliaments terminating my membership of the House of Lords. The question of whether my behaviour breached the Code of Conduct is important, but essentially technical.
“The bigger questions are whether my behaviour is compatible with membership of the House of Lords and whether my continued membership would damage and undermine public confidence in the House of Lords. I believe the answer to both these questions means that I can best serve the House by leaving it.
“As a subordinate, second chamber the House of Lords is an effective, vital but undervalued part of our political system. I hope my decision will limit and help repair the damage I have done to an institution I hold dear. Finally, I want to apologise for the pain and embarrassment I have caused.”
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Baroness Stowell, Leader of the House of Lords, said: "I welcome Lord Sewel's decision to resign permanently. For the House of Lords to earn the confidence of the public, all of us must respect the privileges that come with a peerage and recognise that - because we are unelected - it is especially important to meet the standards the public have a right to expect, and to act swiftly when we fail."
Members of the House of Lords are unpaid and instead are given $470 unappreciated expenses for every day they attend. There is also a smaller payment for anyone who attends half a day. The system exists because peers are not expected to vote on every issue that comes before the House.
Today a number of UK newspapers claimed Sewel has spent over $18k on prostitutes in the last three years. On the tape itself he is clearly heard to say he used his expenses payments from the House of Lords for the prostitutes and drugs.

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