Longest-serving British-Indian MP Keith Vaz announces retirement

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London: Britain’s longest-serving Indian-origin MP Keith Vaz announced his retirement from Parliament on Sunday.

A week after Commons Standards Committee recommended suspension for six months, Vaz announced his retirement.

Vaz faced suspension for six months after the Commons Standards Committee recently found that he had damaged the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons with his actions revealed in a British tabloid’s sting operation in 2016.

He was a candidate from Leicester East for the December 12 election, but senior Labour leaders such as Diane Abott suggested that he step down voluntarily so that the controversy around him does not become a distraction during the election.

A former minister for Europe (1999-2011) in the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair , Vaz has been involved in several controversies during his parliamentary career, but invariably bounced back to return to frontline politics.

Keith Vaz was first elected to the House of Commons in 1987 and went on to win eight subsequent elections.

Vaz, 62, is of Goa origin and has been a prominent figure in the Indian community in the UK, besides forging links with leading politicians and others in India.

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