Labour to stay with Keith Vaz after probe indictment

Keith Vaz, the longest-serving Indian-origin MP in British history, is likely to stand again in the December 12 election from Leicester East after the local Labour unit said it had full confidence in him after this week’s indictment by a parliamentary body.

Vaz, 62, faces a six-month suspension from the House of Commons if MPs accept recommendations of the Commons Committee on Standards in its report on his involvement in a drugs-for-male-sex-workers scandal revealed in a sting operation in 2016.

The committee ruled that Vaz, Labour MP from Leicester East since 1987, had caused ‘significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons as a whole’. After the report’s publication on Monday, he has been admitted to a hospital.

The local unit of Labour said: “We have full confidence in our brilliant MP Keith Vaz who has served us in an outstanding way for 32 years and we hope that he will make a speedy recovery from his illness which sadly he has been forced to acknowledge publically”.

A statement from his office said Vaz has been treated for a serious mental health condition for the last three years as a result of the events of August 2016, adding that he shared his medical reports in confidence with the committee.

After the scandal blew up in 2016, Vaz resigned as chairman of the influential Home Affairs Committee. He was elected with a higher vote share in the 2017 mid-term election compared to his votes in the 2015 election.