Ulster-born Labour MP Kate Hoey has played down a move by party members in her Vauxhall constituency to “disassociate” themselves from her pro-Brexit stance.
The long-serving Member of Parliament said the group’s decision to vote on the motion, and to publish the result online, had not been discussed by the wider party and was of little significance.
In an online statement this week, Vauxhall Labour said they would “like to formally disassociate ourselves from the position that our local Member of Parliament has taken in relation to the UK leaving the European Union”.
The group added: “We would like to make it clear that Vauxhall Labour Party fully supports the Labour Party policy to unilaterally grant residency rights for the three million EU citizens already in the UK and fully supports the rights of unaccompanied child refugees to be granted access to the UK. On these issues we do not believe that our Member of Parliament is effectively representing the views of either our members or our wider communities.”
The group claims it comprises 2,500 residents who “share common values and who promote Labour values and Labour policy in our local communities”.
Ms Hoey said: “I have made it clear that it is not a true statement but they are of course entitled to send out what they want. I have always supported our country and indeed our borough accepting more child refugees.
“On the question of EU citizens’ rights, I of course want to see all EU citizens here being allowed to stay when we leave the EU. There is not a single MP who doesn’t support this from any party. I was not prepared to vote for any amendments to the 137-word Article 50 Bill and along with other Labour MPs who were Leave supporters did not vote for the amendment as this was not the right bill for it to be attached to.”
Ms Hoey said there are some members of the party in Vauxhall “who cannot accept that the British people voted to leave” and who “wish to obstruct the process of getting the negotiations started with the triggering of Article 50”.
In an early day motion tabled in the Commons, Ms Hoey states: “That this House reiterates its strong commitment that EU nationals living legally in the UK should have their status guaranteed after the UK leaves the EU; celebrates the contribution made by millions of these nationals to the UK’s public services, economy, culture and scientific knowledge, and acknowledges the concern about their status felt by many people following last year’s referendum decision.”
Ms Hoey also said she welcomes the PM’s pledge that the status of UK citizens in the EU is a “top priority” during Brexit negotiations.