The Keith Vaz Westminster fan club: Why do they protect this man

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Keith Vaz MP: Now on the Justice committee

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

An extraordinary event took place in Parliament last night only hours after Amber Rudd, the home secretary, made the really bad decision to turn down an inquiry or independent panel into the  ” battle of Orgreave ” in the 1984 Miners’ Strike.

Andrew Bridgen, Conservative MP for Leicestershire North West, moved a rare motion objecting to the appointment of :Labour MP, Keith Vaz, to the Commons Justice select committee.

Keith Vaz, the MP for Leicester, East stood down  as chair of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee after an exposure in the Sunday Mirror, that he was involved in sex with two male prostitutes while posing as a ” washing machine salesman” in a flat he owned in North London. Police are at present assessing whether Mr Vaz committed any offences as a result of the scandal.

Mr Bridgen’s main point was that he should not stand for the post – because he himself had ruled out standing a home affairs committee chairman.

During his speech, Mr Bridgen told the Speaker Mr Bercow: “You have often spoken that this place must reflect the society with which we make the laws and I agree with you.

“I respectfully point out to the House that in any other sphere of activity a candidate with so much hanging unresolved over him would be very unlikely to be considered for such an important office.

“I believe and if (Mr Vaz) was in his place today I’d ask him to stand down from his nomination, but he’s not.”So I’d ask this House to reject his appointment otherwise I think we cannot blame the Great British public for having a low opinion of its politician and its politics – we can only blame ourselves.”

Earlier he had been warned by Mr Bercow to ” desist” after he also referred -under Parliamentary privilege- to a current historical child sex investigation said to be being conducted by Leicestershire Police where four people had come forward alleging child sexual abuse crimes.

However the view of Vaz’s supportive  MPs was that it was perfectly proper for him to be a member of the justice committee -despite the recent scandal. And it was 159 Tory MPs and ministers that came forward in droves to support the Labour MP. Labour MPs were remarkable in their absence – though a number of MPs who have raised child sexual abuse cases did vote for him – notably Simon Danczuk and Tom Watson.

But it was the Tory Cabinet that stood out in support of him. They included Amber Rudd, the home secretary, who decided that there has been no ” miscarriage of justice in Orgreave” and was obviously happy to think that Mr Vaz had committed no offence.

Other key supporters included Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, Liam Fox, the International Secretary; James Brokenshire, the Northern Ireland Secretary and  former home office minister: David Gauke, chief secretary to the Treasury;Andrea Leadsom, the environment secretary,and Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, who is advised by Craig Woodhouse, a former Sun journalist and David Lidington, leader of the House.

Only nine MPs supported Mr Bridgen’s motion. They were Nicholas Soames; Jake Berry, Conservative MP for Rossendale and Darwen; James Duddridge, Conservative MP for Rochford and Southend East; Philip Hollobone, Conservative MP for Kettering; Scott Mann, Conservative MP for North Cornwall;Matthew Offord, Conservative MP for Hendon; and Mr Bridgen himself. Two other MPs acted as tellers, Karl McCartney, Conservative MP for Lincoln, and Nigel Mills, Conservative MP for Amber Valley.

On these occasions Parliament seems to resemble more a members’ club than a body representing the nation. And it does itself no good. I have a feeling that the loyalty of MPs to Mr Vaz’s rehabilitation plan will be misplaced and a large swathe of the Cabinet might regret their hasty decision to follow their whips advice. Parliament should not be used to play games or it will fall even more into disrespect.

 

 

 

 

15 thoughts on “The Keith Vaz Westminster fan club: Why do they protect this man

    • Karen Bradley gave the impression of doing no more than simply read her brief when she spoke to the House of Commons as Home Office minister responsible in the last government. How far was she in charge of the Home Office process that resulted in Butler-Sloss and Woolf being identified as appropriate candidates to chair the Inquiry, and how much did she oversee the process by which Emmerson was given such an important role in shaping the structure of the Inquiry after Butler-Sloss and Woolf were found unsuitable? While Theresa May was in charge, how much did Karen Bradley have her hand on the tiller?

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  1. Mr Bridgen told the Speaker Mr Bercow: “You have often spoken that this place must reflect the society with which we make the laws and I agree with you” . Sadly it does reflect modern society, Do I need to say more!

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  2. The appearance of something should not be assumed as its reality.
    It was the Home Affairs Committee under Mr Vaz that approved the appointment of Dame Lewell Goddard
    Given the coverage in mainstream media about the life changing impact of the abusive strip searching of children by the police following the BBC Five Live investigation programme on Sunday morning no one asked about it at Home office questions or has requested a Ministerial statement urgent question.(so far)
    The new IICSA progress statement can be interpreted in very different ways.
    The re-election of Jeremy Corbyn and the Brexit vote has fundamental changed politics in the UK
    PMQ’s tomorrow will be interesting
    Thursday the new centre party within the Labour Party is launched

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  3. I generally agree with you David. And I do on who supported Vaz in this matter.
    However:
    I thought Vaz K. should not chair the Home Affairs hearings on prostitution, because he can shift the evidence considered.
    I think that he should also leave the Justice Ctee. ( if not the House) if convicted of an offence, but not until then. It’s down to his voters to take a view on his character, if he has done nothing illegal.
    There is a point alluded to by John Derbyshire above. That maybe Vaz “reflects society” . We moan that MPs do not represent a cross section of society. Surely among 630 MPs there ought statistically to be at least one that pays prostitutes? Not after that is made a crime, but until it is.
    And what better qualification to reflect “society” on the Justice Committee than someone subjected to the special attentions of the media’s fake sheiks and prostitutes?

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    • Does that, therefore, mean we have to visit the moon to realise it’s not made of cheese ?? There has been no mention of the Class A drugs throughout the piece or the comments. This is indeed illegal. The question has to be, would you want your children’s teacher, your elderly parents Carer or your local priest to be involved with, privy to or suspected of any of the above to continue with their daily ‘job’ until such time as the issues were resolved. Not in my name

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  4. Pingback: Debate and Vote on Keith Vaz’s add to Justice Committee | cathy fox blog

  5. In any other profession, he would of at least been suspended whilst investigations were pending. I know of people who have lost their jobs, lost their children and found themselves in a court room for a lot less than what the allegations against Keith Vaz amount to. He is representative of this country and anybody who believes he should remain in this position is saying ‘we want Vaz to represent us’. I don’t want him! He should be charged and subject to strict bail conditions, until his guilt is proven or otherwise. Why is it one law for us and another for them?

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  6. This is outrageous !! I have forgiven the expenses, the lies, the spin because their job really is challenging. But to place a man who consistently flouts our laws and has no moral compass in this role is contemptible. Write to your respective MP and complain loudly. Vaz is the worst kind of politician. Keep up the pressure Mr Bridgend.

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  7. Pingback: Keith Vaz, Charities, Friends etc (Updated) | goodnessandharmony

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