Leicester MP Branded A 'Grinch' Over Coca Cola Truck Visit
1 December 2015, 06:08 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
Keith Vaz was compared to the Grinch and accused of ruining Christmas by an angry football fan after he said the Coca-Cola truck was not welcome in Leicester.
The prominent Labour MP and chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee spoke out against the visit planned for December 17 because of concerns about childhood obesity and tooth decay.
But Mr Vaz (Leicester East), who has Type 2 diabetes, today revealed he was confronted about his stance on the issue at a Leicester City home game.
Speaking during a Westminster Hall debate on the merits of introducing a tax on sugary drinks, Mr Vaz said: ``I want to ask those who produce these drinks to be a little less touchy, more touchy feely.
``Recently I was asked whether I supported the arrival of the Coca-Cola van in Leicester and I said that I was against this because I think this would just encourage young people to drink more Coca-Cola which of course has seven teaspoons of sugar in each can.
``There was a huge outcry and when I went to a football match two weeks ago at the King Power Stadium, before Jamie Vardy scored his 11th goal, a man came up to me and said 'you're like the Grinch,' he said, 'you've ruined our Christmas because you don't want the Coca-Cola van to come'.''
Mr Vaz then joked that he thought Christmas was ``about the birth of Christ and the message of Christianity'' but now he realised it is in fact about the visit of the Coca-Cola van which people could ``go and worship''.
The Coca-Cola vehicle, made famous by the company's Holidays Are Coming adverts, is due to stop at dozens of locations across the UK during the festive season.