A number of senior Conservatives have condemned Labour MP Keith Vaz following the revelation that he engaged the services of two male sex workers at his north London flat, arguing that his conduct is in clear breach of Conservative intellectual property rights.
Mr Vaz, whose home affairs select committee has been carrying out an inquiry into prostitution, was caught in a sting by the Sunday Mirror. The same paper revealed that he had asked one of the men to bring poppers – a substance which his own committee has recommended be criminalised.
“This is a wretched transgression,” said one Downing Street source. “It has absolutely every embarrassing vice – hypocrisy, sexual infidelity, drug abuse, prostitution – upon which the Conservative party has built its extra-curricular reputation over the last hundred years or more.”
While no formal copyright arrangements exist for the term ‘political sex scandal’, the private behaviour associated with it has long been the preserve of tory MPs, with a gentleman’s agreement ensuring that politicians of other parties have largely confined themselves to expenses fraud, speeding, and alcoholism.
But in recent years an ailing Labour party has resorted to violating this unspoken agreement. Last year former Labour minister John Sewel angered Conservatives by snorting coke from a prostitute’s breasts while wearing a bra, and this latest breach by Keith Vaz has inflamed tensions further.
The Conservative party is seeking legal advice.