Vaz’n’Hodge – two of my least favourite Labour MPs


Will Straw of Left Foot Forward has released a joint list of endorsements for Commons Select Committee chairs with Tim Montgomerthingie of Conservative Home. Isn’t the bipartisan spirit sweet? A nice bit of the new politics there.

Unfortunately the two Labour candidates they have expressed support for are Keith Vaz (running to remain chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee) and Margaret Hodge (going for Public Accounts).


The Daily Mail is of course a filthy rag, but stories pointing out Vaz’ sleaziness stick. He is one slippery customer and I don’t trust him one inch.

The Left Foot Forward/ConservativeHome endorsement reads: “his strong network within the BAME community and experience in foreign affairs gives him valuable insight”. Some of us consider Vaz’ principal achievement in foreign affairs to be his attempt to secure passports for rich foreign business buddies and so helping to cause a political scandal.

Those of us with even longer memories (or a taste for history) recall this BAME community networker joining the ridiculous Muslim demonstrations against The Satanic Verses.

All quite unforgivable.

The endorsement of Hodge points to her record in local government. It somehow manages to avoid mentioning the Islington child abuse scandal over which she presided as council leader.

Undoubtedly all politicians have skeletons in their closets, but Vaz and Hodge are examples of Labour MPs with particularly undistinguished careers IMHO. It therefore seems wacky for the editors of Left Foot Forward and Conservative Home to express support for such embarrassing politicians.


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3 Responses to “Vaz’n’Hodge – two of my least favourite Labour MPs”

  1. Will Straw Says:

    I understand where you’re coming from with this post but we did this for two reasons. First, we wanted to focus on committees where there was a contest. Second, we wanted to focus on the most important committees. In an ideal world, Alistair Darling would have stood for Public Accounts Committee and, perhaps, David Blunkett or Alan Johnson for Home Affairs but that wasn’t on the table. Vaz – despite some questionable moves – has been a good chair of the HA committee and continuity will be vital to prevent the LibCon’s causing further damage to our public accounts committee. Margaret Hodge was by far the weightiest figure for the PA committee of the available options. I’m glad they both won.

    All the best,


  2. Vaz and Hodge victorious in select committee elections | Left Foot Forward Says:

    […] Fawkes and Iain Dale questioning our decision to endorse Keith Vaz and Margaret Hodge. On the left, Frank Owen was also critical. We chose to endorse candidates on the big important committees which meant […]

  3. Jako Says:

    Well, thanks for coming over here to stand your ground, so to speak. Clearly the PLP agree more with your way of thinking than mine.

    I just don’t really see what the point was of your endorsing Vaz and Hodge. Even if you believe it was very important for them to secure the chairs of their respective committees, does Left Foot Forward really have that much influence amongst MPs? IMO defending the records of politicians with such “questionable” histories (a mild way of putting it) just undermines the reputation of an otherwise good centre-left blog for little gain.

    Hopefully I will be proved wrong and both will prove good chairs adept at holding the Government to account whilst avoiding getting themselves involved in anymore scandals. As someone who has sat it on a lot of Home Affairs Select Committee hearings I’ll admit that Vaz usually seemed competent enough at handling those public sessions – it’s what has reportedly been happening behind the scenes that worries me.

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