Hasan Suroor

LONDON: Keith Vaz, high-profile British-Indian Labour MP and former Minister, was on Thursday embroiled in a controversy over allegations that he was promised a knighthood or a peerage in return for his last-minute support to a contentious Bill on terrorism last month.

Mr. Vaz, chairman of Parliament’s Select Home Affairs Committee, had initially opposed the Bill, which sought to raise the period of pre-charge detention from 28 days to 42 days, but relented in the run-up to the vote to save the government from a looming defeat. The allegation that he changed his mind after being offered a “reward” followed revelation that Labour’s chief whip Geoff Hoon wrote him thanking for his support and hinting he would be “appropriately rewarded.” An embarrassed Mr. Brown said Mr. Hoon was simply “thanking the chairman of the Home Affairs Committee for doing exactly the right thing.” Mr. Vaz dismissed the allegation as “ridiculous.”