His party may have suffered a drubbing at the hands of David Cameron’s Conservatives earlier this month but Britain’s longest-serving Asian Member of Parliament doesn’t allow for such trivialities to mar his work.
Whilst numerous Labour luminaries suffered humiliating defeats across the United Kingdom on 07th May, Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East actually increased his majority in his constituency.
He has held the seat since 1987 and won’t be losing it any time soon, not least his tireless work on behalf of Britain’s South Asian communities.
Among his most recent projects was campaigning against the ludicrous ban on imports of Alphonso mangoes by the European Union.
The ban, brought in May 2014 following a minor quarantine violation, was an issue that brought together both sides of the Commons with politicians from Labour and Conservatives equally vocal in their opposition to deny the British public the so-called “King of Mangoes”.
At the time of the ban Mr Vaz described as “Euro-nonsense” and “bureaucracy gone mad”.
The ban was lifted in January and Mr Vaz made a personal appearance at 10 Downing Street on Monday to present David Cameron a box of the finest Alphonso’s of the season.
“The delivery of these delicious Alphonso mangoes to the Prime Minister fulfils a promise made during the superb campaign to lift the European Union’s ban on India’s ‘King of Fruits’”, Mr Vaz said.
“Prime Minister Cameron’s support for those of us who opposed the ban was critical, and it seems right that we now fulfil our end of the bargain”, he added.
The lifting of the ban was met with a huge sigh of relief, not just among importers in the UK but mango farmers and exporters in India.
The UK imports nearly 16 million Indian mangoes of several varieties, the most popular of which is the Alphonso.
Mr Vaz cited the issue as a classic example of politicians from both countries working together.
“The work undertaken to resolve this issue serves to demonstrate how quickly and efficiently problems can be solved when the United Kingdom and India work together.
“We now look forward to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first official visit to the United Kingdom. I hope Mr Cameron will include Mangoes for desert when he hosts Mr Modi for the first time”.