Lord resigns and faces police probe after ‘being filmed snorting cocaine off £200-a-night prostitute’s breasts during romp with two escorts at his discounted flat’
- The Sun on Sunday claims to have obtained footage of Baron John Sewel
- Apparently shows him snorting a white substance with rolled-up bank note
- Pays one of the suspected escorts with £200 cheque and the other in cash
- Married peer responsible for ‘overseeing standards’ in the House of Lords
- Today House of Lords said Mr Sewel has resigned as Deputy Speaker
The House of Lords peer responsible for overseeing standards of behaviour has resigned after ‘being filmed snorting cocaine off a prostitute’s breasts during a romp with two escorts’.
Baron John Sewel, 69, will step down from his roles as Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees at the House of Lords following the Sun on Sunday‘s publication of a sordid 45-minute video.
The paper claims Sewel stripped naked for a drug-fuelled sex romp at his London flat during which he referred to Asian women as ‘whores’ and turned a framed picture of his wife face-down.
Undercover footage obtained by the Sun on Sunday which claims Baron John Sewel snorted cocaine off the breasts of a prostitute at his London flat
Reports said the cross-bench peer, a former ally of Tony Blair, was also caught on video telling the prostitutes: ‘I just want to be led astray.’
Within hours of the article being put up on the Sun’s website, someone altered Sewel’s Wikipedia page to say: ‘He enjoys cricket, golf, reading, hill-walking, cocaine and cooking.’
In the film, Lord Sewel is shown romping with two women at his flat in Dolphin Square, Pimlico, a couple of miles from Parliament.
At one point, hunched over a table, the former Labour Minister allegedly held a £5 note in his left hand, his wedding ring on display, as he appeared to snort the white powder up his left nostril.
He was also filmed admitting to one of the escorts his behaviour was ‘disgusting’.
Today he quit as chairman of the Lords’ Privileges and Conduct Committee – the body that upholds standards of behaviour among peers.
Sex party: The video was filmed in Nelson House in Dolphin Square, which lies in the shadow of Westminster
Baron Sewel, who has two children and two more step-children, was made a minister by Mr Blair in 1997
The emergence of the film comes just a few days after Lord Sewel unveiled new powers to expel peers for bad behaviour, saying: ‘The actions of a few damage our reputation. Scandals make good headlines.’
He wrote on the Huffington Post website: ‘The actions of a few damage our reputation. Scandals make good headlines.
‘All Members now sign a declaration to obey the code and the seven principles of public life… The requirement that Members must always act on their personal honour has been reinforced.’
According to reports, the peer, who claimed more than £403,000 in expenses between 2001 and 2010, was caught on camera snorting three lines of cocaine in three-quarters of an hour.
Baron Sewel was also caught saying he wanted an Asian prostitute to join them, adding: ‘They sort of look innocent but you know they’re whores. That’s a really nice combination isn’t it?
He even invited the women to have dinner with him at the House of Lords ahead of another orgy they arranged orgy for September 8.
Sewel turned a framed picture of his wife Jennifer (pictured), who is University Secretary at Durham University, face-down on a table before it began
The party took place last week at his flat in Dolphin Square, the apartment complex a short walk from Westminster and notorious for a string of parliamentary scandals.
In between snorting lines of white powder, he is heard complaining that he struggles to afford the £1,000 a month rent on the flat.
The peer is asked whether he receives expenses, and explains that he now gets a flat-rate allowance of £200 a day.
‘It’s all changed and disappeared. People were making false claims,’ he said.
‘Members of her Lordship’s House who are right thieves, rogues and b*****ds at times. Wonderful people that they are.’
In fact, the allowance for Lords is £300 a day, and did not apply to Lord Sewel.
He apparently paid one for the night with a cheque for £200, dated July 22.
Lord Sewel, who earns £84,525 as Chairman of Committees in the Lords, was also accused of having taken cocaine at another binge last month.
Lords Speaker Baroness D’Souza branded the peer’s behaviour ‘shocking and unacceptable’ and said she was calling in Scotland Yard.
‘Today’s revelations about the behaviour of Lord Sewel are both shocking and unacceptable. Lord Sewel has this morning resigned as Chairman of Committees,’ Lady D’Souza said in a statement.
‘The House of Lords will continue to uphold standards in public life and will not tolerate departure from these standards.
‘These serious allegations will be referred to the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards and the Metropolitan Police for investigation as a matter of urgency.’
Lord Sewel had not returned to his family home in Banchory today.
A young long dark haired woman- believed to be his daughter- answered the door of the whitewashed Georgian manor and said: He’s not here. He’s still in London’.
When asked if he would be coming home today she said: ‘No. I’m making no comment. Please go.’
Raised to the peerage in 1996, Mr Sewel was made a junior Scottish Office Minister by Tony Blair after Labour came to power.
He was first elected to political office as an Aberdeen district councillor in 1974 and was later made a CBE.
Sewel, who is Chairman of the Privileges and Conduct committee, announced the House of Lords’ (file photo) new powers to expel Lords if they breached the code of conduct
On being elected Chairman of Committees in May 2012, he gave up the Labour whip in the House of Lords.
Married with two children and two stepchildren, he lists his hobbies as cricket, golf, reading, hill-walking and cooking.
He was brought in by Blair to help shepherd the Scottish devolution framework, drafting plans for the new Scottish Parliament and sending powers north of the border.
After helping to create 1998’s Scotland Act, he posed with other Lords frontbenchers including Blair’s mentor, the then Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine.
His devolution work meant he gave his name to ‘Sewel Motions’ – which dictate the UK Parliament cannot pass new laws on Scotland without getting the Scottish Government’s agreement first.
But after unsuccessfully standing in the first elections for the Scottish Parliament, he left the Government.
Baron Sewel has not commented publicly on the claims.
MORE SHAME FOR LUXURY BLOCK OF FLATS IN DOLPHIN SQUARE
The video obtained by the Sun on Sunday is said to have been filmed at Baron Sewel’s discounted flat in the exclusive Dolphin Square estate in London.
Lying in the shadow of Westminster, the development has been home to politicians, foreign dignitaries, spies and escorts – and was recently at the centre of a police probe.
Last year detectives investigated probing claims that the prestigious Pimlico block was also the site of sordid ‘sex parties’ involving the horrific, violent abuse of young children.
Hosted by MPs, spy chiefs and senior figures in the military and law enforcement, the parties allegedly saw youths – mainly boys – ‘shared’ among paedophiles.
Lying in the shadow of Westminster, Dolphin Squarehas been home to politicians, foreign dignitaries, spies and escorts – and was recently at the centre of a police probe into child abuse ‘sex parties’
One victim, who alleges two well-known Tory politicians raped and physically beat him, recalls being taken to the famous square around ten times from the age of 11.
He says he was raped while his head was held underwater in a bath by a ‘sadistic’ former Cabinet minister, while a second former MP cut boys with a knife. Another of the abusers, known as the Doctor, is said to have treated any injuries.
A number of witnesses have claimed they were between 11 and 13 when they were first taken to parties at the riverside block, which houses 1,250 flats and is just a short walk from the House of Commons.
At one point, Dolphin Square was home to up to 70 MPs and around 10 lords.
At one point, Dolphin Square was home to up to 70 MPs and around 10 lords.
Corridors of powder: Drug scandal at the Houses of Parliament after traces of cocaine are found on toilets across Palace of Westminster
- Evidence of class A drug use detected in UK’s seat of power
- Chemical swabs found substance on toilet seats and hair dryers
- Drug was also found in toilets close to MPs’ offices, away from public areas
Evidence of cocaine use has been found inside toilets at the Houses of Parliament, including some just yards from MPs’ offices.
Traces of the class A drug were found in nine toilets throughout the Palace Of Westminster, the meeting place of the UK’s political elite.
The powder was detected in toilets used by guests at Parliament’s bars, as well as cubicles a few yards away from MPs’ offices – areas where members of the public are restricted from going.
Not to be sniffed at: Evidence of cocaine use has been uncovered at the Houses of Parliament
Charlie: Possession of cocaine can get you up to seven years in jail. File picture
The drug use was uncovered using cocaine indicator swabs, which come up with blue blotches when rubbed on surfaces where the drug has been laid out in lines, such as toilet seats and hairdryers. The swabs are used by the police and customs officers.
As Parliament’s toilets are cleaned regularly, the white powder must have been snorted in the past few hours, according to reporters from The Sun, who did the testing.
Users would have to smuggle the drug past extensive security checks and 500 police officers and guards.
The reporters, acting on a tip-off from a House of Commons insider, claim to have found evidence of the drug in the cubicles of the toilets outside Strangers’ Bar and in private areas close to MPs’ offices.
High office: The cocaine use was uncovered using test kits, similar to the one pictured
Tory MP Douglas Carswell was scathing about the find.
He said: ‘With decadence comes something rotten. It suggests there is something rotten about the institution itself.’
On two occasions cannabis has been confiscated at Westminster’s entry checkpoints since the start of 2008, according to a Freedom of Information request.
A Parliamentary spokesman said: ‘Parliament is a public place and we welcome over a million visitors a year who have either direct access to these facilities or access when accompanied.
‘Clearly, it is inappropriate to monitor what happens in toilet facilities. In addition, we have issued over 14,000 passes, held by contractors and other third parties, as well as staff of both Houses, Members and their staff.
‘Consequently, it is impossible to know who may be involved. Our security searches are focussed on preventing harm to others and the building, not the detection of small amounts of drugs.
‘Parliament takes the issue of substance misuse very seriously and offers a range of welfare and health support services for those who need them.’
A few days ago a Parliamentary watchdog said MPs should have an 11 per cent pay rise to £74,000 a year.
In 2005 a German television station found traces of cocaine in 41 of 46 lavatories tested at the European Parliament in Brussels.
London is the cocaine capital of Europe: City has highest concentration of the drug in its waste water, according to report
- Scientists found sewage in London had highest concentration of cocaine
- It was surveyed along with a number of other major European cities
- The amount peaks on Friday and Saturday and falls off on a Sunday
- The class A drug is passed into the sewage network in the urine of users
Scientists found sewage in London contained more traces of cocaine than any other European city surveyed
London is the cocaine capital of Europe, with the highest concentration of the drug in its waste water, a report revealed yesterday.
Scientists found sewage in the city contained more traces of the class A drug than anywhere else surveyed. It is passed into the network in the urine of users.
The amount peaks on Friday and Saturday, sampling by the Lisbon-based European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction showed.
Then it falls off as the drug-using population recovers on a Sunday, and continues to go down as they return to work on Monday.
The research found levels in London slightly higher than those in Amsterdam, with 737 mg for every 1,000 people in the British capital compared to 716 mg in the Dutch city. The next city in the league was Antwerp in Belgium, at 632 mg.
The report said: ‘Many cocaine users consume the drug recreationally with use highest during weekends and holidays.’
It added that waste water analysis ‘confirms daily differences in use. Higher concentrations were found at the weekend’.
The report said Britain continues to have the highest rate of cocaine use among young adults in Europe.
Around one in 24 people aged between 15 and 34 in the UK admitted taking the drug in the last 12 months.
The 4.2 per cent level in this country was almost a point higher than that in Spain, which was second highest with 3.3 per cent of youngsters taking cocaine in the previous year, and more than double the EU average of 1.9 per cent.
The finding was one of a series of figures showing that the UK has some of the highest rates of drug use in Europe.
The report also showed that nearly one in 10 people in Britain aged between 15 and 64 have taken cocaine in their lifetime – the second highest in Europe.
One in nine have used amphetamines at some point – the highest in Europe, and nearly one in 10 British adults have taken ecstasy, again the highest level in Europe.
The amount found in sewage in London (pictured) peaks on Friday and Saturday, sampling by the Lisbon-based European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction showed. Then it falls off on a Sunday
The proportion of young people who took the drug in the previous year, three per cent, was joint second highest.
Health officials pointed to evidence that levels of drug abuse in Britain are falling.
Rosanna O’Connor, director of alcohol, drugs and tobacco at Public Health England, said: ‘Drug use continues to be considerably lower than 10 to 15 years ago and this is particularly true for the more harmful drugs like heroin and crack.’
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