Labour MP Keith Vaz has survived an attempt to prevent him becoming a member of the House of Commons justice committee.
Vaz faced a vote in the Commons yesterday based on objections to his appointment, forced by Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen.
Bridgen said the appointment of Vaz, who resigned as chair of the home affairs select committee in September after revelations about his private life, would damage the reputation and perception of parliament among the public.
Bridgen repeated the allegation published in the Sunday Mirror that Vaz had offered to purchase class-A drugs while using the services of escorts.
‘Following the much-publicised exposé in the Sunday Mirror, he decided - belatedly, in my view - to resign from his position,’ said Bridgen.
‘But here we are, only a relatively few weeks later, and the same member seeks a position on the prestigious and influential justice committee while matters relating to his recent resignation remain unresolved.’
The Conservative MP said Vaz had ‘quite a history’ regarding parliamentary standards, having been subject to allegations of misconduct in 2001 and 2002.
He was suspended from the house for one month in 2002 for breaches of the MPs’ code of conduct.
Budgen was urged by speaker John Bercow that it would be ‘unwise’ to go into historic matters, but Budgen added: ‘In any other sphere of activity, a candidate with so much hanging unresolved over him would be very unlikely to be considered for such an important office.’
Despite the attempt, MPs voted by 203 votes to seven against blocking Vaz’s appointment.
Vaz and Stretford and Urmston MP Kate Green will join as Labour’s new representatives on the committee, replacing Chris Elmore and Dr Rupa Huq.