Keith Vaz gifts belt to `pants down` UK mayor

The portly mayor Colin Hall`s trousers came loose and fell down at an event.

Updated: Jul 04, 2010, 15:55 PM IST

London: Indian-origin Labour MP Keith Vaz has gifted a belt to the Lord Mayor of Leicester, whose trousers came loose and fell down at an education event for children last week.

The incident made headlines across the world when the portly mayor Colin Hall`s trousers came loose and fell down. He later apologised and attributed the `malfunction` to a weight loss diet he was on.

Vaz, who is the MP for Leicester East, has sent Hall a new belt. Vaz, who has known the Lord Mayor since he was in his teens, said: "I am delighted that the Lord Mayor has gone on a diet. This is something that we all aspire to do but none of us would have expected such dramatic consequences."

He added: "I hope this small gift will help him in his civic duties."

Hall was widely criticised for the incident, but he tweeted that the story had solved his problem of finding a way to publicise his successful weight loss.

Vaz said: "I decided to buy him a belt because he is being treated a bit harshly by people. He is a very valued constituent and I have known his family for years.”

“It was just such an unfortunate incident and we need to be treating it in a light-hearted way."

Hall, who was elected the Lord Mayor of the east Midlands town in May, was in a library to take part in a Global Education Summer Showcase on June 30 when the embarrassing incident occurred.

In a statement, Hall, 46, said: "Whilst giving a vote of thanks, I suffered a problem with my trousers. Unfortunately, I had chosen not to wear a belt and the trousers came loose and fell."

He added: "I would like to offer my deepest apologies to anyone who was offended by the accident."

Hall, who has signed up to a gym to reduce weight during his year as the Lord Mayor, has reportedly sought the help of fitness guru Rosemary Conley.

He currently weighs more than 16 stone and wants to lose up to three stone by next May. He walks to many civic engagements and has changed his diet.

He wrote in his blog: "As well as losing weight and improving my own fitness, I am seeking to use my year in office to demonstrate how anyone can improve their health and wellbeing by taking a step-by-step approach to getting fit."

Hall recently hit the headlines after choosing to stop the tradition of saying prayers before full council meetings, and choosing not to attend a civic service at the city`s cathedral.

PTI