Lord Sewel resigned from his £84,500 post as Deputy Speaker yesterday after video footage emerged of him snorting cocaine with prostitutes.
As chairman of the Lords’ privileges and conduct authority, Mr Sewel was responsible for maintaining standards among peers and was supposed to lead by example.
Lord Speaker Baroness D’Souza said in a statement that the revelations were “both shocking and unacceptable.
“The House of Lords will continue to uphold standards in public life and will not tolerate departure from these standards.”
The 69-year-old is now facing a police investigation into to the incident, which is reported to have been filmed at his flat last week.
Earlier this month, Lord Sewel wrote for the Huffington Post about new powers that the House of Lords has gained to banish peers who breach the code of conduct.
He warned that “the actions of a few damage our reputation,” while adding that “all members now sign a declaration to obey the code and the seven principles of public life.”
Lord Sewel also praised the fact that “the requirement that members must always act on their personal honour has been reinforced.”
The former Labour peer was a close ally of Tony Blair and was involved in the creation of the Scottish Parliament.
The video allegedly shows him snorting cocaine off prostitutes’ bodies, making racist remarks about Asian women and boasting about his £200-a-day expenses allowance, while hinting that the system is not as generous as it was.
Lord Sewel, who claimed almost half a million pounds in expenses between 2001 and 2010, is not required to resign from the House of Lords until an investigation by peers has been conducted.