Labour members pass vote of no confidence in Hoey over Brexit

A unanimous vote of no confidence has been passed against Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey by her constituency party members.

Friday, 27th July 2018, 6:06 pm
Updated Friday, 27th July 2018, 6:09 pm
A unanimous vote of no confidence has been passed against the Vauxhall MP by her constituency party members. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Ms Hoey was censured for “colluding with Nigel Farage” by members angry at her repeated voting with the Conservatives on Brexit.

A motion to suspend her from the Parliamentary Labour Party was passed with 42 votes in favour, none against and three abstentions, with nobody speaking in her favour.

Ms Hoey was re-elected last year on a manifesto that “explicitly rejected Theresa May’s approach to Brexit”, the motion stated, and she pledged to endorse Labour’s plans in a letter to constituents.

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Members were particularly furious she had voted with the Conservatives on last week’s Trade Bill, “propping up a failing government... when Tory whips had made it clear that defeat could lead to an immediate general election, an election which Labour is widely expected to win”.

The motion stated: “This CLP censures Kate Hoey MP for repeatedly reneging on those commitments, and ignoring the clearly stated views of her constituents and the national and local Labour Party.

“We believe the accumulation of her actions and statements over the years, culminating in her supporting this reactionary Government and a Tory Brexit which will threaten jobs, peace in Northern Ireland and the future of the NHS, and undermine workers’ rights and environmental and other standards, cannot be deemed to be compatible with Labour’s core beliefs and values.”

Ms Hoey had defended herself ahead of the motion in a letter to constituency party members, claiming “the idea there would have been a General Election if Labour MPs’ had supported the amendment is not true”.

She said: “In my view, the other amendment put forward by Tory back bench rebels was a backhand way of staying in the customs union - a position which would leave us subject to taking the rules from the EU.

“It would mean us not having a say and stopping us making our own independent trade deals and still being subject to the European court i.e. Brexit in name only.

“This was not the position in the Labour manifesto on which I was re-elected.”

Speaking the morning after the vote, Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who was a prominent Remain campaigner, told LBC: “There are 73 CLPs across London. They are autonomous bodies and they have expressed their view and they are clearly unhappy with Kate’s vote the other day when there was a possibility of the Government losing the vote, a vote of no confidence, possibly a general election.”

He added: “Kate Hoey’s views on Brexit are long-known and have been long-held. The concern that members have is that in this particular example there was the possibility of bringing the Government down and the job of HM Official Opposition is to be an opposition and to provide a government-in-waiting.”

Laura Parker, national co-ordinator of Momentum, called for the deselection of the four Labour MPs who rebelled on the Trade Bill vote: Ms Hoey, Frank Field, John Mann and Graham Stringer.

She said: “We had a chance to bring down this chaotic Tory Government and four Labour MPs stood in our way.

“Kate Hoey, Frank Field, John Mann and Graham Stringer voted to save Theresa May and ensure a destructive Tory Brexit, leaving open the possibility of crashing out of the EU with no deal.

“This is a betrayal of the millions of Labour voters who want our MPs to do everything they can to take down this cruel, incompetent Tory Government.

“Labour is once again a socialist party that works for the many, not the few and there is no room for Labour MPs who side with the reactionary Tory establishment.”

Having lost the confidence of local members, Ms Hoey could now be deselected.

Birkenhead MP Mr Field is also facing a no confidence vote at 7.30pm following a letter from the Bidston and St James branch secretary Brian Parsons.

Mr Parsons attacked the “actions and total disregard” of Mr Field in supporting the Conservatives, which he said could potentially damage support for Labour in any upcoming election.

He said: “For whatever reason, Mr Field is refusing to assist his parliamentary colleagues in removing one of the cruellest and most savage Tory administrations this country has produced, including the Thatcher government.”

Mr Field has dismissed the move as “Momentum-inspired”.

Kate Hoey condemned the country to a Conservative Government, according to a Labour member in her constituency.

Vauxhall MP Ms Hoey was one of four Labour rebels accused of propping up the Government on a knife edge Brexit vote on trade last week, resulting in a no confidence vote last night from her constituency party members.

Vauxhall Labour’s disability officer Fran Springfield said she felt betrayed by Ms Hoey’s actions, which showed “Brexit was more important than having a Labour Government” to the MP.

Ms Springfield said she disagreed with Ms Hoey, who claimed voting with her party on the Trade Bill would not have led to a general election.

“This was certainly what Tory whips were telling their MPs,” she said.

“Any Labour MP who supports this austerity driven government should have the Whip removed.

“Why, when Kate is such good constituency MP, did she choose to condemn us to more of this dreadful Government when we could have had a general election and Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minster?”

Ms Springfield said she hoped Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) would listen to the views of the members, who have already requested a “trigger ballot” to deselect Ms Hoey.

She added: “We don’t yet know when a trigger ballot is likely to be and at this point in time there have been no formal discussions about possible candidates.”