Keith Vaz was first elected in June 1987 and was subsequently re-elected as a Member of Parliament 7 times. He was the first person of Asian origin to sit in the House of Commons since 1922. Keith was Britain’s Minister for Europe under Tony Blair. He served as Chairman of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee between 2007 – 2016.
Elected as the youngest Labour Member of Parliament in 1987, he was appointed as Opposition Spokesman on regeneration and established the City 2020 Commission. When Labour was elected to government in 1997 he was made Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Attorney General. He then became a Junior Justice Minister and was quickly promoted to become a Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he helped negotiate the enlargement of the European Union. In 2001 he became the senior Labour member on the Justice Committee.
In 2006 he was appointed by the then Prime Minister to chair the National Executive Committee’s Ethnic Minority Taskforce, a position he still holds. In 2007 he was elected as a member of the Labour Party’s ruling National Executive Committee.
Keith also served as a Member of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS) between 2015-2016.
His interests include health issues, in particular diabetes prevention, Yemen and Tamil issues. He has been Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes since 2015 and was re-elected Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Yemen in 2015. In January 2017 was re-elected vice chair of the Equalities Committee.
Born to Goan parents in Aden, Yemen he was educated at Cambridge University where he studied law and then became a solicitor.
He is married with two children.