1. ITV Report

'Noise row' erupts over Keith Vaz's loud-hailer

Keith Vaz was first voted as the MP for Leicester East in 1987. Photo: PA

Veteran Labour politician Keith Vaz has been caught up in a noise pollution row after rivals complained of hearing his voice from a campaign car's loud hailer in Leicester.

Conservatives in the seat of Leicester East complained to Leicester City Council after videoing the loud speaker-equipped vehicle, pumping out messages calling to for people to vote for Mr Vaz on May 7.

The car was filmed by Conservative activists at the weekend, who then sent the video to the council.

City hall officials have confirmed it is an offence to use a loudspeaker in the street, adding that what exemptions exist do not extend to political campaigning.

Anyone in breach of the rules can face a fine of up to £5,000.

Vinod Popat, deputy chairman of Leicester Conservatives which made the complaint to the council, said he had written to city election chiefs for guidance about using loud hailers prior to the election campaign, and was told they were banned.

He was assured all other political parties, election agents and candidates had also been informed.

However, on Saturday a people carrier emblazoned with signs reading "Labour" and "Vote Keith Vaz" was filmed travelling along the city's Loughborough Road.

From a loud hailer attached to the car, the voice of 58-year-old Mr Vaz can be heard saying:

"This is Keith Vaz, your Labour candidate for Parliament.

"Vote Labour on the 7th of May. Vote Labour on the 7th of May."

A Leicester City Council spokesman said the allegation was now under investigation by its noise and pollution control team.

The full list of parliamentary candidates for Leicester East:

  • Michael Barker - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
  • Tom Darwood - Independent
  • Kishan Devani - Conservative Party
  • Nimit Jethwa - Green Party
  • Dave Raval - Liberal Democrats
  • Susanna Steptoe - UK Independence Party (UKIP)
  • Keith Vaz - Labour Party