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Lord Sewel Quits Parliament Over Cocaine And Prostitute Scandal

The peer apologised for the "pain and embarrassment caused".

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Lord Sewel has quit the House of Lords after he was caught allegedly snorting cocaine off a prostitute’s breasts.

THE SUN FRONT PAGE: 'Lord Sewer' #skypapers

The peer resigned on Tuesday morning after three days of revelations by the Sun on Sunday and The Sun.

Lord Sewel, 69, said in a statement: "I have today written to the Clerk of the Parliaments terminating my membership of the House of Lords.

"The question of whether my behaviour breached the Code of Conduct is important, but essentially technical. 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.

"As a subordinate, second chamber the House of Lords is an effective, vital but undervalued part of our political system. I hope my decision will limit and help repair the damage I have done to an institution I hold dear. Finally, I want to apologise for the pain and embarrassment I have caused."

Lord Sewel had stopped short of resigning on Monday despite immense pressure to do so.

Instead he announced he would take a "leave of absence" from the Lords, which meant he could not claim any allowances. He also quit his role as deputy speaker and chair of the Lords privileges and conduct committee.

But he appeared to have a change of heart on Tuesday after a string of leading politicians called for him to go. Baroness Betty Boothroyd, the former Commons Speaker, said he had "brought the House into some disrepute" and should "take a quiet way out of the back door of the House of Lords".

On Monday night police searched Lord Sewel's London flat after launching a criminal investigation into "allegations of drug-related offences". The Lords commissioner for standards, Paul Kernaghan, was also considering a full investigation.

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

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