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Valerie Vaz, second Indian-origin MP in UK shadow cabinet

Valerie Vaz, the sister of Britain’s longest serving Indian-origin Labour MP Keith Vaz

London, Oct 10 (UITV)- Valerie Vaz, the sister of Britain’s longest serving Indian-origin Labour MP Keith Vaz, who entered British parliament in 2010 and retained her seat in the 2015 election, has become the second Indian-origin woman to be inducted in the shadow cabinet led by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, after Baroness Shami Chakrabarti was appointed the Shadow attorney-general earlier this week.

This is her first front-bench job since entering Parliament and involves watching complex parliamentary processes on Labour’s behalf.

The new appointments in the shadow cabinet were supposed to be a unifying exercise in the party driven by dissensions against Corbyn, but most of his trenchant critics have not found a place in it. This exercise has further strengthened his position but also increased uneasiness within Labour.

Vaz was born in Aden, to parents Merlyn and Tony Vaz who originated from Goa. She qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has worked as a lawyer in local government in London Boroughs. From 1986 to 1990, Vaz was a Councillor in the London Borough of Ealing and from 1988 to 1989 was Deputy Leader.

She had backed Andy Burnham during Labour’s leadership election last year but has since been seen as a Corbyn supporter. She is also Vice Chairwoman of the Labour Parliamentary Party, having been elected by fellow Labour MPs.