Vaz Accused of Backing Rebellion Against Labour Mayor mdi-fullscreen

A turf war has broken out over in Leicester ahead of the local elections, with Keith Vaz once again accused of leading the charge. The row is focused on the city’s mayoral election, with Labour incumbent Sir Peter Soulsby standing again after surviving an attempted plot to scrap the role entirely last month. The plot was led by then-Labour councillor Rita Patel, who backed a motion to ditch the mayoralty at a special meeting of Leicester City Council. She and several other rebellious Labour councillors were accused of trying to “embarrass the party” and subsequently lost the whip. Now Patel herself is standing as an independent against Soulsby… just to scrap the job if she wins.

Where’s Keith Vaz in all of this? Locals are accusing the former Labour MP of orchestrating the rebellion and throwing his weight behind “protégé” Patel’s campaign, owing to a longstanding personal grudge he holds against Soulsby. One source tells Guido they’re now known as The Keith Vaz Party…

“Rita is now leading a bunch of Labour rejects who are calling themselves the independent party, but locally they are known as the ‘Keith Vaz Party’ and their slogan is “let’s get the party started”.

Another leaflet doing the rounds this week accuses Labour of “removing all Hindu councillors” and being an “anti-Indian Party”…

Vaz’s feud with Soulsby goes back decades, with Soulsby telling the Standards Committee in 2000 the pair had “a long history of quite a difficult relationship“, and later even that they had “a different attitude as to what is true“:

“…We have a very different view about what is proper in public life, and how one ought to behave, and a different attitude as to what is true and what is not. That has inevitably led to us falling out a number of times over the years. That is not a vendetta; that is a difference in personality and attitude.”

An ally of Rita Patel told Guido “Keith has been involved in local politics for a while“, although they refused to comment on his more recent machinations. There ain’t no party like a Keith Vaz party…

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mdi-account-multiple-outline Keith Vaz Peter Soulsby
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