Stephen Timms: I hope Keith Vaz stays in Parliament

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Labour MP Stephen Timms has called on disgraced Labour member Keith Vaz to stand at the next election as he has made a “great contribution” to Parliament.

Mr Vaz is facing a six-month suspension from the House of Commons after it was found he “expressed willingness” to buy cocaine for others.

Mr Timms told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer his fellow Labour MP was “entitled to a lot of respect” for his work over the years.

“I think Keith has made a great contribution in Parliament over a long time and the decision about his suspension has been made and I’m very sad that’s happened, though I understand the reason for it,” he said.

“It’ll be for the voters in his constituency to make that decision about whether he will continue to represent them as an MP.”

However, the general secretary for campaign group Labour Leave, Brendan Chilton, said Mr Vaz should not seek re-election.

“I certainly think today the Labour leadership ought to withdraw the whip. This is not the type of candidate we want standing for Labour,” he said.

And Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said Mr Vaz was “not fit to be a Member of Parliament” and should stand down immediately.

“I think the Labour Party should suspend the whip from him immediately. He’s not fit to stand. Hopefully this is the end of the line for Keith Vaz,” he said.

“I think Keith was really hoping that he could have delayed this report for another week in which case we may have had a general election and it would have all disappeared.”

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