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16 December 2016, 12:34
Police have dropped an investigation into Leicester MP Keith Vaz after probing allegations made about his private life in a newspaper.
The 59-year-old Leicester East MP issued a public apology to his wife and children, and quit as chairman of the influential Commons Home Affairs Committee, following reports in the Sunday Mirror that he paid two male escorts for their services.
Scotland Yard launched an investigation last month after receiving a letter on September 7 asking them to look into the matter.
The Metropolitan Police Service's (MPS) Special Enquiry Team began an assessment process to see "what criminal offences - if any - may have been committed''.
But on Friday, a spokesman for the Met said: "Following allegations in the Sunday Mirror on Sunday 4 September concerning a Member of Parliament, the Metropolitan Police Service received a letter on Wednesday 7 September requesting police consider the matter.
"The letter was forwarded to the Special Enquiry Team, part of Specialist Crime and Operations, who started an assessment process to identify what criminal offences - if any - may have been committed. Following that assessment, which included obtaining early investigative advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, the MPS started an investigation in November.
"During the investigation new information was received and additional advice obtained from the CPS, following which the MPS has made the decision to close the investigation with no person being charged.''
Mr Vaz had a conversation regarding cocaine with one of the male escorts in which the MP said he did not want to use the drug, but indicated that he would pay for it for the other man at a later date, according to the Sunday Mirror.
The Commons sleaze watchdog also launched an inquiry into Mr Vaz.
The probe by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards will determine whether Mr Vaz was guilty of a conflict of interest as he headed the body's review of vice laws at the time of the allegations regarding male escorts.
The watchdog will also look into whether the former Europe minister has caused "significant damage'' to the reputation of Parliament.
However, the standards commissioner's probe was suspended until the outcome of the police assessment of the Vaz affair.
A spokesman for Mr Vaz said: "The Metropolitan Police Service has informed us that they have decided 'not to proceed any further' with their investigation arising from reports in the Sunday Mirror and The Mirror and that the investigation is 'now closed'.
"This investigation followed the complaint made to them by Andrew Bridgen, the Conservative Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire.''