“Appropriate reward” for backing 42 days – Cameron ambushes Brown with fresh allegations

According to TV presenter Andrew Neil on today’s “Daily Politics” show on BBC 2, at 11.51 this morning nine minutes before Prime Minister’s Questions, the Daily Telegraph posted on its website the leak of a handwritten letter from Labour Chief Whip Geoff Hoon to Home Affairs Committee Chair Keith Vaz.

In the letter, Hoon thanks Vaz for his help in persuading fellow Labour MPs to back the crucial vote on a 42 days detention limit without charge for terrorist suspects.

David Cameron was obviously primed to spring the trap question on Gordon Brown, what did Hoon mean by “reward?”

Brown was at first stumped for much of an answer, beyond a straight denial. But he went on to take refuge in that earlier, strangely over-respectful denial of a deal with the DUP, a charge that still rumbles round the Westminster corridors: “As for that earlier Ulster Unionist and DUP allegation, you (Cameron) should listen to what they say about terrorism, they know more about it than anyone else in the House.”

He finally charged Cameron to produce evidence to the House of improper dealing, if he could find it.

This is not the first time the notion of a reward for Vaz has arisen. It was put to him when the Home Affair Select Committee published a report last year that told the government what to do, to meet key objections to a detention limit beyond 28 days.

Observers are scratching their heads, wondering what any “appropriate reward” for Vaz could be. He has passed beyond cabinet promotion and Labour are mean about awarding political knighthoods. Vaz is already a privy councillor, a “Rt Hon”.

Of course if you’re DUP or UU, you don’t get peerages and privy councillorships for supporting the government; only for doing the right thing ( in the end).

  • Rory

    I am afraid that my notion of what might be an “appropriate reward” for Keith Vaz’s slimy little betrayal of the House Committee on Home Affairs of which he was “Chair” may not be acceptable for publication in a respectable organ like Slugger.

  • picador

    “As for that earlier Ulster Unionist and DUP allegation, you (Cameron) should listen to what they say about terrorism, they know more about it than anyone else in the House.”

    LOL. Of course what Brown should have said was: “they know more terrorists than anyone else in the House.” Incredible.

  • picador

    Brown might also have added “and we have more terrorists on our books than anybody this side of the Hindu Kush”

  • percy

    Rory
    Vaz has form, its very creepy and slimy indeed.

  • Rory

    He is known in the Westminster village not as “a contemptible shit” but rather more fondly as “The Contemptible Shit”, a title hard won and well deserved.

  • percy

    aye the worst of the worst, an indian aping a tory sleaze-bag, and the ace card of deceit is to pretend to be labour.

  • percy

    apologies if that came across as in any way racist; it matters not a jot his race.
    he was sacked before from the cabinet over sleaze

  • So Vaz got ‘rewarded’, and the DUP got rewarded, and all of it to do a deal with the security of the state. Ever hear of the first duty of government? To protect it’s citizens, there ought to have been no need to do any deals with anybody over the 42 days detention .

    As to Vaz – this is a new low. He has no principles, to sell his vote on the security of the nation for a little reward, at most something in the honours list.

    It’s simply depressing.

  • Rory

    As to Vaz – this is a new low. He has no principles, to sell his vote on the security of the nation for a little reward, at most something in the honours list.

    And where does that leave Robinson and the rest of the DUP members? Would they not also have been obliged to vote for that which you care to call “the security of the nation” on simple principle rather than demean such principle by horse-trading and harlotry (if I may employ the jargon beloved of successive DUP leaders)?