Keith Vaz: he’s got so much love to give

You can’t please all the people all of the time.  But you can try.

While others hedged their bets, Leicester MP Keith Vaz came out early in support of David Miliband.

Some who remembered the 2007 deputy leadership contest were surprised to see Vaz nailing his colours so firmly to the mast.  He was the only MP in that contest quietly to pledge his vote to all six of the candidates.

Less surprising, in which case, that yesterday he nominated Diane Abbott.

Even if she gets on to the ballot paper, though, he is under no obligation – not even moral – to vote for her.  This is known as spreading the love.  Keith is the master.

What passes for a PLP establishment machine in these days of interregnum is making serious efforts to get Abbott onto the ballot paper.  MPs who haven’t yet nominated are being asked if they well lend her their support, in order to secure a less indefensibly homogenous choice for party members.

We believe it is to Vaz’s credit that he has switched his support in this way. More than anything, party members want a broad choice.

Last week, Keith added to the epistolary avalanche which threatens to obliterate the PLP, as dozens of their number seek election to something or other.

In Keith’s case, he is seeking re-election as chair of the important home affairs select committee.  As a select committee chair – as in all things – Keith sees broad appeal as paramount: “all but one of the thirty one reports we produced was unanimous”, was the proudest boast of his letter to colleagues.

One Response to “Keith Vaz: he’s got so much love to give”

  1. Maybe he did vote for all six? I know I did on my ballot paper in 2007. I considered leaving Hazel Blears off, but as I’d already marked the others 1-5, it seemed churlish not to make her my sixth preference.

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