A Westminster source tells Heat Street this morning that Labour MP Keith Vaz is a Freemason.
They claim Vaz, who controversially has just been voted onto the influential Commons justice select committee despite his recent entanglement in a rent boy scandal, has been part of this non-sectarian fraternity of gentlemen for several years.
— Tom Harris (@MrTCHarris) November 1, 2016
There would be nothing untoward if Vaz were a member of the craft.
Despite the many urban myths surrounding Freemasonry, lodges are in fact massive donors to charity and Masons insist they do not operate as some sort of secret society. Well known Freemasons have included the Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent.
As has been widely reported, Vaz is facing a police investigation after the Met said in September it would “assess and identify what criminal offences – if any” have been committed by the MP following the Sunday Mirror’s revelations about his private life.
Nigel Brown, who until April was the United Grand Lodge of England general secretary, was asked by the Daily Telegraph in 2012 whether many policemen are Masons.
He said: “We don’t have a lot of policemen, actually…This talk that you can hush up a crime or something is absolutely not the case. Any criminal record and you would be out straight away…In my humble opinion it [membership] links to integrity. Infidelity would definitely be frowned upon but each case must be considered on its merits.”
Brown was also was asked if it was acceptable for Masons to be homosexual.
He replied: “Fine. The key thing is to get men of quality coming in. One rotten apple can spread to the whole basket.”
Heat Street has asked Vaz, who is married, if he is a Mason.
He has not replied yet. It is thought he may have been abroad this week.