Britain’s most senior Asian politician Keith Vaz, Labour MP from Leicester East, has been accused of bullying by a clerk working at Parliament… reports Asian Lite News
Mr Keith Vaz, a colourful politician but going on a low profile mode after a shocking rent boy scandal, has denied the latest bullying allegations.
Britain’s most senior Asian politician Keith Vaz, Labour MP from Leicester East, has been accused of bullying by a clerk working at Parliament.
The senior MP is alleged to have told one woman she was poor at her job because “she was not a mother” after she questioned his conduct during taxpayer-funded trips abroad.
Mr Vaz, a colourful politician but going on a low profile mode after a shocking rent boy scandal, has denied the latest bullying allegations.
Jenny McCullough, the former clerk to the home affairs select committee, which Vaz chaired, claimed she was bullied after attempting to control the MP’s behaviour during trips abroad. He stood down from the committee in 2016 following a newspaper sting which claimed that he had hired male prostitutes and offered to buy cocaine. An investigation into those allegations is ongoing.
McCullough claims that in 2008, after an “opulent” unscheduled dinner with mysterious Ukrainian politicians, she raised concerns over who was paying for the event and was subjected to a “tirade” from Vaz in a hotel lobby in Kiev.
“He told me that I wasn’t capable of serving the committee because I wasn’t a mother,” McCullough told BBC Newsnight. “All I knew was, it wasn’t normal to be harangued about my fertility status in the reception of a hotel room, at public expense, in front of my colleague on the team.”
A representative for Vaz told Newsnight the hospitality did not need to be declared and that no rule was broken.
McCullough alleged that Vaz subsequently subjected her to continued personal criticism and made jokes about whether she posed a security threat because of her Northern Irish background and accent.
A representative for Mr Vaz told Newsnight that he denied any bullying, and said: “No complaint or allegation of this nature has ever been brought to his attention.
“Our client had considered that he and Ms McCullough had previously had a good working relationship, and had always considered her to be very effective as a clerk.”
He particularly denied making light of Ms McCullough’s origins or motherhood.
After Ms McCullough left the House, she complained about the way that she had been treated.
“I didn’t feel able to complain about Keith Vaz because I was afraid of him. When I was on the home affairs committee I saw that he had friends in the police and friends in the law. She told Newsnight.
“He said that one of the principal clerks was a friend and by the time I was leaving the house he had a friend in the Speaker. I thought it could only end badly for me.”
The House of Commons told Newsnight: “We are aware that in the past the House has not had a robust process in place to deal with instances of bullying and harassment.