Yvette Cooper considers bid to replace Keith Vaz

Yvette Cooper MP.
Yvette Cooper MP.

MP Yvette Cooper is set to battle it out against a fellow senior Labour MP for the chairmanship of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee after Keith Vaz quit after becoming embroiled in a rent boy scandal.

Committee member Chuka Umunna will stand for the post and former Cabinet minister Yvette Cooper, who represents Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, is also considering a run at the job, which is decided by a vote of MPs.

The committee, which holds the Home Office to account, had been chaired by Mr Vaz since 2007 until his decision to resign on Tuesday.

Mr Umunna believes he has the support of many of the existing committee members and will offer continuity to carry on the cross-party group’s work.

A friend of the Streatham MP said: “Having consulted colleagues and been approached by colleagues from both sides of the House he has decided he is going to put his name forward.”

Ms Cooper is not a current member of the committee but would bring her experience as a former shadow Home Secretary to the role. The former Labour leadership contender is considering it and “colleagues have suggested she should stand”, a Westminster source said.

The post, which comes with a £15,025 pay boost on top of the MPs’ salary of £74,926, is open to Labour MPs under the arrangements which divide the chairmanships between the political parties.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s office confirmed it had received a complaint about Mr Vaz. “We have formally received an official complaint and it is under consideration,” a source said.