He was educated at Cambridge University where he studied law and then became a solicitor.
The Labour Party does not have a leader at present with Ed Miliband resigning after the recent election debacle.
Elected as the youngest Labour Member of Parliament in 1987 he was appointed an Opposition Spokesman on regeneration and established the City 2020 Commission.
He was Britain's Minister for Europe under Tony Blair.
Keith Vaz was re-elected from his Leicester East stronghold at the May 7 general election. He secured 61% of the votes. Vaz has been appointed by acting leader of the opposition Harriet Harman.