Valerie Vaz

Member of Parliament for Walsall South



Valerie Vaz is shadow leader of the House of Commons and the Labour MP for Walsall South. Born in Aden, then a British Crown Colony, she moved to Twickenham at a young age. After graduating with a BSc in Biochemistry from Bedford College, Vaz carried out research in animal nutrition at Cambridge University. She then retrained as a solicitor, qualifying in 1984. She later founded Townsend Vaz Solicitors law firm with her husband, Paul Townsend. From 1986-1990 Vaz served as a councillor on Ealing Council, worked briefly as a BBC Network East presenter, and sat as a deputy district judge in the County Court on the Midland and Oxford Circuit. In 2001, she joined the Government Legal Service, working in the Ministry of Justice and the Treasury Solicitor’s Department. She entered the House of Commons in 2010. Following her election, she joined the Health and Social Care Committee and the Regulatory Reform Committee. She has since served on a succession of select committees, including the Science and Technology Committee, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, and the Panel of Chairs. She joined Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet as shadow Commons leader in 2016 and retained the role under Kier Starmer. In parliament, Vaz has presented two 10 Minute Rule Bills – The Epilepsy Bill (2010) and Related Conditions Bill and the Adoption Bill (2011). She is currently a member of the members estimate and House of Commons commission committees and the speaker’s committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

Financial Interests

Official parliamentary photograph taken by Chris McAndrew, 2017, licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0