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Situation beyond re-peer

Published:Saturday | August 1, 2015 | 8:00 AMTony Deyal, Contributor

A peer without peer could be deemed peerless but a peer without care is not just careless but seemingly couldn't care less. This is the case of Lord John Sewell, 69, a peer beyond compare, deputy speaker and chairman of committees at the House of Lords, as well as chairman of the Lords' Privileges and Conduct Committee. It would appear that the peer was caught on a video released by The Sun on Sunday snorting lines of cocaine off a table with a rolled-up £5 note and also off the breasts of two prostitutes. He was, as the British say, having a 'romp' with the ladies which makes the entire event a romp and coke party. He was even shown wearing an orange bra and leather jacket as he smoked a cigarette. Perhaps it was his way of keeping abreast of the situation, but in terms of the bra, nobody said 'Tut! Tut!' and neither of the women was shocked enough to exclaim, 'Good Lord!'

The paper claims Sewell stripped naked for the event which took place at his London flat. Among his taped comments was his wanting an Asian prostitute to join them, adding: "They sort of look innocent but you know they're whores. That's a really nice combination isn't it?" He even called his own behaviour disgraceful but this did not stop him from turning a framed photograph of his wife face down before engaging in the sex sessions. Even though he supposedly kept his wedding ring on during the encounter, Sewell apparently refused to have the photo of his third wife, Lady Jennifer, 54, staring back at him but he did invite the women to have dinner with him at the House of Lords ahead of another orgy they arranged for September 8.

 

Sex with a BBC presenter

The not-so-good lord also had some choice words for his colleagues in the House of Lords. He commented, "Members of her Lordship's House who are right thieves, rogues and b*****ds at times. Wonderful people that they are." As if that was not enough, Lord Sewell boasted that he had sex with a BBC presenter, telling the two prostitutes that he "had her in the attic" and that it was a "one off s***" because "she was happily married". When the woman appeared on TV during their drug-fuelled sex session, Sewell pointed to the award-winning presenter and decided to share the details. He even spelled out the presenter's name and revealed the programmes she worked on, telling the call girls that the two of them had appeared on TV together afterwards. He added, "She was very young and it was very pleasant. Quite pleasant, yeah, it was nice you know, I liked her." When approached by The Sun newspaper for a comment the unnamed BBC star said, "This is categorically untrue."

Lord Sewell also claimed to have committed adultery with 13 women over a 17 year period - not including prostitutes. He explained to the call girls how he had sex with women he met through politics. He said: "I had women I was friendly with, often in Scotland who would be down here doing meetings and things." According to media reports, one of Sewell's apparent mistresses was a Labour party member he claimed he "bedded" for 20 years. Asked her name, he would only say, "Catherine," but when asked for a surname he said, "We'll leave it there." It also emerged that Sewell paid prostitutes a total of £12,000 over the past three years after meeting them in a Soho lap-dancing club. Lady Jennifer chose not to discuss news of his sex and drugs shame with the two call girls. She is his third wife and clearly did not take the public humiliation sitting down.

She did not wish to discuss news of her husband's sex and drugs romp with the two call girls.

The media said that she sent a friend to the door of the whitewashed house, who said pointedly, "Lord Sewell is not here and is not expected." The house might be whitewashed but not Sewell's escapade.

 

Unhappy days

The irony is that although Sewell welcomed the prostitutes with the words, "Happy days are here again", he is in for some seriously unhappy days. Lord speaker, Baroness D'Souza, said, "Today's revelations about the behaviour of Lord Sewell are both shocking and unacceptable. Lord Sewell has this morning resigned as chairman of committees. The House of Lords will continue to uphold standards in public life and will not tolerate departure from these standards. These serious allegations will be referred to the House of Lords commissioner for standards and the Metropolitan Police for investigation as a matter of urgency." Prime Minister David Cameron has asked for the full truth and many of his colleagues have advised him to resign.

There is further irony in Sewell's situation as the head of the Privileges and Conduct Committee. A newspaper report stated, "On being elected chairman of committees in May 2012 with an £84,000 salary, he gave up the labour whip in the House of Lords and focused on overseeing standards of behaviour among peers." While nothing was said about any other whip he might have taken to replace the one he gave up, if Sewell takes the opportunity to peer into the future, he will find out that he could be the first lord to be expelled from the house under new tough rules that he set up to discipline the members. In fact, Sewell could be the whipping boy because of the committee's recently announced new powers to expel lords if they misbehave. He established a code which maintains that members must "always act on their personal honour". It is like the old joke in which the bride said to the bridegroom, "I offer you my honour". The bridegroom replied, "I honour your offer". And so it went the whole night - honour, offer, honour, offer ... .

- Tony Deyal was last seen saying that a lot of his colleagues are hoping that this peer will disappear but a cocaine scandal is nothing to sniff at.