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Brexit, Grammar School plans and Zero hours contracts - it's all in Central Lobby tonight

How is the Midlands dealing with the Brexit vote? That's one of the questions discussed by our panel of politicians on this month's Central Lobby. Alison Mackenzie and her guests Anna Soubry MP, Jonathan Ashworth MP and liberal democrat councillor Michael Mullaney take part in lively debate. They also consider whether the ban on new Grammar schools should be lifted and also talk about the decision by Derbyshire based Sports Direct to end zero hours contracts for retail staff.



  1. National

Keith Vaz back in Commons despite escort scandal

Keith Vaz did not mention the newspaper reports about him. Credit: House of Commons

Keith Vaz has returned to work in the House of Commons less than 24 hours after claims he paid two male escorts for sex.

Carrying on as if nothing had happened, the Labour MP arrived in the chamber around 15 minutes into Home Office question time taking his usual seat on the backbench.

He asked a question to Home Secretary Amber Rudd and later about the UK's plans to help with the humanitarian situation in Yemen - which is where he was born.

While Mr Vaz appeared calm and made no mention of any issues surrounding him when he spoke in the House of Commons, his MP sister's face told a different story.

Valerie Vaz is Labour MP for Walsall South. Credit: ITV News

Vaz, a married father-of-two, is facing a possible investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards after the male escort story appeared in the Sunday Mirror.

He indicated he will stand aside as chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee at a meeting on Tuesday.

It comes after he publicly apologised to his wife and children for the "hurt and distress" he caused them.

People need confidence in MPs, says May amid Keith Vaz allegations

People need confidence in MPs, says May amid Keith Vaz scandal Credit: PA

People must be able to have "confidence" in their politicians, Theresa May has said in response to the allegations surrounding Keith Vaz.

The Prime Minister said MPs have a duty to their constituents but stressed that decisions on his future were a matter for Mr Vaz.

She said:

What Keith does is for Keith and any decisions he wishes to make are for him.

But I think overall what people look for is confidence in their politicians.

– Prime Minister Theresa May

Keith Vaz: 'You feel terribly for his family'

Keith Vaz MP Credit: PA

Asked if Leicester East MP Keith Vaz Vaz should quit as chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, committee member Chuka Umunna told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme:

I think we need to hear from Keith first and we are going to be meeting with him tomorrow.

I don't want to say more than that, other than to say when you see things like this plastered across the front pages ... you just feel terribly for his family. I've met his children and I can't imagine what the family are going through.

I think we need to hear from him first and then we can decide with him the best way to move forward.

– Chuka Umunna

Mr Umunna said the committee members would need to "collectively come to a view" on Mr Vaz's position when they meet on Tuesday.

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