Senior Indian-origin British MP Keith Vaz's troubles escalated on Tuesday as he was under pressure to step down from his position as the head of an influential Parliamentary committee after being embroiled in a gay prostitution scandal.
Vaz, married, father of two, and a member of the opposition Labour Party, was reportedly recorded paying two male escorts for their sexual services, Sunday Mirror reported. In the recording, Vaz could also be heard offering payment for cocaine brought by the escorts.
"What Keith does is for Keith and any decisions he wishes to make are for him, but I think overall what people look for is confidence in politicians," UK Prime Minister Theresa May was quoted as saying on Monday.
Despite mounting pressure on Vaz to resign from his position, leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn has suggested that Vaz was under no obligation to resign from his position as committee head.
"He hasn't committed any crime that I know of. As far as I'm aware it is a private matter," Corbyn said.
Vaz is the chairperson of a powerful home affairs Parliamentary committee which carries out investigations into drug policies, sex workers and immigration.
Vaz had issued a statement to the Mail saying, "I am genuinely sorry for the hurt and distress that has been caused by my actions."
The MP was filmed and recorded by the British tabloid discussing exchange of sexual favours from male prostitutes and also offered to pay for cocaine to be brought to his apartment. He, however, said that he would not take any himself.
Vaz was also recorded asking an escort to bring a party drug called poppers with him for their meeting. The minister had earlier said in the Parliament that he would vote to ban the particular party drug if it was proved to be harmful.