UK police begin probe on antiSri Lanka MP

British police have begun an investigation on an anti-Sri Lanka Parliamentarian over drug offences.The BBC reported that the police are investigating possible drug offences following a Sunday Mirror story about the Labour MP Keith Vaz. Drugs, including cocaine, were mentioned during a secretly-recorded conversation. The recording also included a discussion about using the party drug known as Poppers.Vaz had opposed government attempts to criminalise the drug. Ministers later announced they would remain within the law.Following the allegations, Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said he would be writing to Scotland Yard calling for Vaz to be investigated for misconduct in a public office and conspiracy to supply controlled substances. Vaz quit as chairman of the Home Affairs Select committee in September after the paper claimed he paid for the services of two male escorts. Vaz, 59, told the Guardian he welcomed the police’s investigation. The police said they would not confirm or comment on the identity of anyone involved.The Sunday Mirror story in September included photographs and secret recordings it said were of Vaz with the sex workers in a north London flat he owns. A spokesman said: “Following that assessment, which included obtaining early investigative advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, the Metropolitan Police Service is now investigating offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.“The investigation started on Thursday 10 November.” Vaz, the Leicester East MP and a married father-of-two, resigned as chairman of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee two days after the Sunday Mirror’s report.He told the Guardian on Friday: “I welcome a full investigation as a means of establishing the true facts and I am confident the police will pursue all lines of enquiry. “I will cooperate with the investigation in any way I can.” According to the newspaper, the MP also indicated to one of the men that he would pay for cocaine, although he said he would not use the drug himself. Scotland Yard said police had received a letter on 7 September asking them to look into the matter.The force said one of its specialist teams then began an assessment process to see “what criminal offences – if any – may have been committed”. Last month Vaz joined the Commons justice committee after Bridgen tried to block the appointment. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Read more

Cambridge University inquiry into slave trade connections is virtue signalling on steroids

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. King’s College chapel at Cambridge University, where an inquiry into the institution’s historical connection with the slave trade will take placeCredit:Geography Photos/Universal Images Group Editorial Commenting on Cambridge University’s inquiry, Mr Phillips told The Telegraph: “It seems to me that this is virtue signalling on steroids. This is really about making white liberal academics at Cambridge feel a bit better about themselves. It will do very little for any ethnic minority person.“Rather than having some clever people looking back 200 years for the next 35 months, wouldn’t it just be a good idea to have some people looking a few months into the future and do some work on how we could prevent discrimination affecting people of colour every single day.“If they actually wanted to do something for young people, there are at least a dozen other exercises they could have chosen over this one.“I have got no objection to some academics looking into the background of Cambridge. In fact, I made a series about this topic 18 years ago. However, if Cambridge University wanted to do something useful they might want to change the future rather than attempting to rewrite the past, which is what this is all about.”Prof Martin Millett, who is chairing Cambridge University’s inquiry, suggested that one potential outcome of the investigation could be reviewing the names of campus buildings that are connected to the slave trade.Speaking on the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday morning, Prof Millet said: “I think it’s quite interesting how Glasgow University have dealt with this. They have thought of symbolic ways of recognising the issue in terms of quite simple things, like how buildings are named and so forth.”Glasgow University have named a new building due to open next year after James McCune Smith, who was born into slavery in 1813 and later became the first African American to be awarded a medical degree.Cambridge University’s Colleges are omitted from the inquiry, which will only apply to the main university buildings, including eight museums and numerous libraries.Academics and students labelled the investigation as nothing more than a “PR exercise” for failing to include the Colleges in the investigation.“The real wealth in this university, as well as historical benefits, are constitutively collegiate,” Dr Priyamvada Gopal, English lecturer at Churchill College, wrote on Twitter. “If Cambridge REALLY wants to look at how it benefited from slavery, leaving the colleges out is absurd. Totally absurd.“Short of that, this is in danger of becoming a PR exercise.“I think this is a terrible dodge on more than one front: many many problems are located at the collegiate level and the University repeatedly washes its hands of the colleges.” Cambridge University’s slavery inquiry is “virtue signalling on steroids” which was only initiated to make “white liberal academics” feel better about themselves, one of the country’s leading equality campaigners has said.Trevor Phillips, the former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, criticised the University’s decision to investigate how it benefitted from the slave trade, calling on its vice-chancellor to “change the future rather than attempting to rewrite the past”.His comments come as details of a similar inquiry launched at University College London (UCL) in November last year have emerged, looking into their “historical and present role in the teaching and study of eugenics”.The UCL investigation will deliver recommendations on current financial benefits the University receives from “instruments linked to this field”, as well as how to manage the naming buildings after prominent eugenicists.This includes Victorian scientist Francis Galton, the man responsible for coining the term ‘eugenics’. UCL students are currently campaigning to get his name stripped from a lecture theatre and a laboratory. King's College chapel read more

Read more