Labour grandee Keith Vaz faces a possible police probe into his ‘property empire’ after a Tory MP demanded a review into his finances.
Andrew Bridgen wants the National Crime Agency to use new powers created to crackdown on crime gangs to investigate the Labour MP.
Mr Bridgen claimed in a letter that Mr Vaz owns eight homes in the UK, more property in India and sends his children to fee-paying schools on his MP salary of £74,962.
Mr Vaz received an extra £15,025 a year during his time as chairman of the home affairs committee until he resigned in September 2016 amid a rent boy scandal.
Mr Bridgen said in the letter this income did not justify the expenditure and called for an ‘Unexplained Wealth Order investigation’.
A spokesman for Mr Vaz denied any wrongdoing, branding the claims ‘malicious’.
Labour grandee Keith Vaz (file image) faces a possible police probe into his ‘property empire’ after a Tory MP demanded a review into his finances.
Mr Vaz (pictured left with Jeremy Corbyn at last year’s party conference) is already subject to a long-running standards investigation
Any new probe into Mr Vaz would be an extra cloud over him as he is already subject to a long-running standards investigation. The Commons probe is on ice after Mr Vaz said he was too ill to cooperate.
In his letter to NCA Director General Lynne Owens, Mr Bridgen cited press reports to claim Mr Vaz ‘has amassed an eight-home UK property empire valued at over £4m, despite earning a salary of around £90,000’.
In the letter Bridgen also claims that Vaz paid for at least one of his homes with cash, has further property in India, sent his son and daughter to a fee-paying school and has previously employed a chauffeur.
He also said the MP had declared less than £12,000 in outside earnings since the 1997 general election, other than income from renting out flats.
Mr Bridgen said: ‘Given these circumstances, I believe an Unexplained Wealth Order investigation would be warranted as it appears Mr Vaz’s lifestyle and expenditure are completely unaffordable given his declared income.
‘It is important that the public can have trust and confidence in their elected representatives and in this matter I believe transparency is urgently needed.’
Andrew Bridgen (file image) wants the National Crime Agency to use new powers created to crackdown on crime gangs to investigate the Labour MP.
Mr Bridgen told MailOnline: ‘There appears to be a clear disparity between Mr Vaz’s lifestyle and assets and his historic and current declared income.
‘The NCA should investigate as a matter of urgency.’
Mr Vaz’s register of Commons interest lists a house in Leicester and two flats in London.
He does not have to register any property he lives in, either in his constituency or elsewhere, only homes from which he receives income worth more than £10,000 a year.
The Sunday Times, which revealed Mr Bridgen’s letter today, said it could only identify six properties in Britain.
Mr Vaz referred MailOnline to Carter Ruck. A spokesman said: ‘Mr Vaz considers Mr Bridgen’s cowardly actions in peddling malicious, highly defamatory and utterly false allegations in this way to be wholly reprehensible, albeit unsurprising given Mr Bridgen’s track record.
‘Mr Vaz will be considering appropriate legal action against Mr Bridgen and also ask the NCA or other relevant authorities to investigate Mr Bridgen for wasting public resources by pressuring them into investigating his vexatious and malicious ”complaints”.’
The spokesman said all or Mr Vaz’s properties had been fully and properly declared in the Commons register of interests, adding Mr Bridgen had exaggerated their value.
He said Mr Vaz’s expenditure was part-funded by his wife, who owns a firm of solicitors and is a part-time judge.