Amber Rudd and 10 Cabinet members under fire for giving Keith Vaz scrutiny role on prisons policy –

Analysis by The Daily Telegraph of the voting record shows that 34 of the 203 MPs who backed Mr Vaz were ministers, including 11 serving members of the Cabinet.

They included Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, Gavin Williamson, the Chief Whip, Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, and David Davis, the Exiting the European Union Secretary.

On Tuesday, Mr Bridgen questioned why it was necessary given Tory MPs had voted against Mr Vaz’s appointment as chairman of the Home Affairs select committee in 2007

He said: “The debate and vote will only increase  the percentage of people in the country who despair with our politics and our politicians.

“In no other sphere of activity would I ever believe that a candidate with that hanging over them would ever be considered for such a position.”

Sir Alistair Graham, the former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said he thought it was “appalling judgment” for the Tory Whips to support somebody who is facing such an investigation.

“It looks like they are looking after their own here, he might not be a Tory, but he is a Member of Parliament. I think the public will take a dim view of such a a poor quality judgement.”

One minister who voted for Mr Vaz told The Telegraph: “I held my nose – it certainly does look bad. Had I not been in this position I would have abstained.”

Just seven MPs including Tory MPs Jake Berry, Sir Nicholas Soames and former whip James Duddridge voted against Mr Vaz’s appointment.

Mr Duddridge said: “I did feel that the whole issue was bringing the House into disrepute and we need as a House to protect our position.”

He added: “The government understandably, but unfortunately, supported the decision the Labour party had made, that was a bad decision.

“But if the government don’t support internal decisions that the Labour party make in terms of committee make up, the normal channels break down, so I understand why they did what they did.

“There was very little else they could do, but I felt it was the right thing to do to make a stand and that why I voted against the House accepting him taking his place on the justice committee.

“I think its going to be very awkward for the committee and the chairman, I really don’t know what he was thinking of putting his name forward.”

Sir Nicholas added that he had voted against Mr Vaz “because I believe he is unsuitable to hold a position on the Justice committee”.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said it was currently undertaking a process “to assess and identify what criminal offences – if any – may have been committed” as a result of the Sunday Mirror’s investigation.

Mr Vaz did not respond to requests for comment.


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