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Politician filmed 'snorting coke off prostitute's body' steps down from House of Lords

“I want to apologise for the pain and embarrassment I have caused.”


A BRITISH PEER has stepped down from the House of Lords after footage emerged of him allegedly snorting cocaine off a prostitute.

Police are looking into footage, published by The Sun, showing John Sewel (69) partying naked with two women and snorting a white powder.

He is seen using a £5 note to apparently snort a line of the alleged drug off one of the women’s breasts.

Scotland Yard said it had executed a search warrant at an address in central London but had made no arrests.

In the video, Sewel is heard discussing the allowance he gets as a peer and telling the two women:

It’s not (for) lunch, luvvie darling — it’s paying for this.

He gave the women a £200 cheque each.

Sewel resigned as deputy speaker of the upper house, and yesterday announced he would be going on an unpaid leave of absence pending an investigation.

In a statement this morning, Sewel said that he would be stepping down from the House of Lords.

“The question of whether my behaviour breached the Code of Conduct is important, but essentially technical,” he said.

The bigger questions are whether my behaviour is compatible with membership of the House of Lords and whether my continued membership would damage and undermine public confidence in the House of Lords.  I believe the answer to both these questions means that I can best serve the House by leaving it.

“I want to apologise for the pain and embarrassment I have caused.”

Sewel, who will remain as a lord, added that he hopes his resignation will “limit and help repair” any damage to the reputation of the House of Lords.

A former lecturer, Sewel has been a member of the House of Lords since 1996 and served as a junior minister in the Scotland office under the Labour government of prime minister Tony Blair.

In his committee chairman role, he wrote on the Huffington Post news website on July 16 that the Lords had just agreed stronger sanctions for misbehaviour.

“The actions of a few damage our reputation. Scandals make good headlines,” he wrote.

“The requirement that members must always act on their personal honour has been reinforced.”

He even wrote about “members caught in sting operations by journalists” being found guilty of breaking the code.

Additional reporting © AFP 2015.

Read: British Lord resigns after video shows him ‘snorting cocaine off a prostitute’s body’ >

More: The House of Lords spent a fair bit of time this week debating Ireland’s head shop laws >

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Nicky Ryan

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