Labour members in Kate Hoey’s seat are advancing plans to deselect their MP over her locally unpopular Brexit views.
Tonight activists in the Constituency Labour Party will hold a general committee meeting that will see delegates vote on a motion of censure against Hoey. It calls for her to have the Labour whip removed and to be ruled ineligible for future selection. The local Momentum group has passed a similar motion.
Ahead of the meeting, which Hoey will not attend as she is acting as an adviser to the Zimbabwe elections, the MP has shared a report that updates members on her response to the criticisms being levelled at her. She will also send a statement to be read out at the meeting.
In her report, Hoey explains: “Whilst many of you may disagree with my views, I have voted in line with the manifesto and the result of the referendum – to leave the single market and the customs union… All my votes are on the issue being debated and not in support of the government.”
According to a Labour source, Vauxhall Labour meetings have been particularly “acrimonious” since Hoey was pictured on a boat with Ukip’s Nigel Farage during the Brexit campaign. But some members were already displeased by the MP’s criticisms of Lambeth Council.
Views vary across the party as to whether Hoey should be deselected. Unsurprisingly, Labour Leavers are less keen: Brendan Chilton last week wrote for LabourList ‘in defence of Kate Hoey’. It is also pointed out by more Brexit-sympathetic Corbynites that she stayed loyal to Jeremy Corbyn during the 2016 leadership coup.
If the motion of censure passes at local party level, Labour’s ruling national executive committee will be asked to advise on whether an early trigger ballot is possible.
UPDATE on 27th July: The motion of censure was passed unanimously.
Kate Hoey has been contacted for comment.
Below is the full amended motion going to Vauxhall Labour GC tonight. (Original text in italics.)
This CLP notes that in June 2017 Kate Hoey was elected on a manifesto which explicitly rejected Theresa May’s approach to Brexit and that she pledged in a letter to constituents that she endorsed Labour’s plans.
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.
MPs must have the right to vote with their conscience and against the Party Whip on matters of principle. However, this right cannot extend to collaborating with the ERG and DUP by co-signing an amendment to the Trade Bill making it illegal for the UK government to make customs arrangements for Northern Ireland separate to Great Britain, thereby undermining the Good Friday Agreement and contravening Labour Party policy of trying to prevent a hard border; and to propping up a failing government by voting against an amendment to Clause 18 of the Trade Bill 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.
This CLP recognises Kate’s hard work as a constituency MP and that there have been many issues on which she has taken a principled stand which have not necessarily been supported by all local Party activists. However, we believe that 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. Examples of this go far beyond her views on EU membership and include:
Working for Boris Johnson when he was London Mayor; chairing the Countryside Alliance and supporting fox hunting, despite representing an inner city constituency; supporting elitist grammar schools; attacking Labour’s ban on hand guns following the Dunblane massacre; colluding with Nigel Farage, UKIP and the leave.eu campaign during the referendum; failing to condemn the Breaking Point poster; acceptance of funds from Arron Banks (whose finances are currently under investigation); and her lack of endorsement or campaigning for official Labour candidates during the recent Council elections, instead openly praising Green Party candidates.
This CLP therefore requests
(a) That the Leader of the Labour Party and Chief Whip suspend Kate Hoey from the Parliamentary Labour Party and remove the Whip; and
(b) That the National Executive Committee declare Kate Hoey ineligible for re-selection or endorsement as a Labour Party parliamentary candidate.
Below is the motion passed by Vauxhall Momentum.
As Labour members who campaigned for Kate Hoey at the last General Election despite many of us disagreeing with her about Brexit, we are appalled at the way in which she is demonstrating that her personal views take priority over representing her constituents and our Party by voting to enable this rotten, inept Government to stay in office.
Vauxhall is an inner city constituency whose diverse, multi-cultural and multi-racial community have suffered eight years of Tory cuts and austerity, yet our MP is voting to prop up that Tory government and for a Tory Brexit which threatens job, peace in Northern Ireland and the future of the NHS. For this we condemn her.
We will be supporting the motion of censure being put to Vauxhall Labour Party’s General Committee on 26 July 2018, and its demands that
(a) the Leader of the Labour Party suspend Kate Hoey from the Parliamentary Labour Party and remove the Whip; and
(b) that the National Executive Committee declare Kate Hoey ineligible for re-selection as a parliamentary candidate.