Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Business

Pro-Brexit MP Kate Hoey ‘relaxed’ about move to deselect her

Brexiter MP Kate Hoey has said she is "relaxed" to have her deselected, and vowed it will have no impact on how she votes, after her local association in Vauxhall passed a vote of no confidence in her.

Last night a no-confidence motion accusing her of "colluding" with former Ukip leader Nigel Farage and "reneging" on Labour's manifesto pledge to oppose the government's approach to Brexit, received unanimous backing at a party meeting.

Activists argue that her decision to vote with the government on a recent Brexit bill prevented Theresa May's defeat in that Commons vote, which could have toppled the government and led to a general election that Labour was "widely expected to win".

But Hoey, who is a prominent member of Labour Leave and has consistently voted with the government on Brexit, said she was "quite relaxed" about the move, which carries no official force.

She told The Guardian: "My local party activists are solid EU remainers. I will always put my country before my party and helping my constituents is a priority. After 29 years as an MP I am quite relaxed about the vote and it wont influence in any way how I vote in future.”

In a letter to local party members ahead of Thursday's vote she said: "The idea there would have been a general election if Labour MPs had supported the amendment is not true.

The amendment, tabled by pro-EU Tory backbenchers, "was a backhand way of staying in the customs union," she argued, and "this was not the position in the Labour manifesto on which I was re-elected".

Earlier this week, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he was seeking to persuade Hoey and three other Labour rebels to stop "propping up" the government in key Brexit votes.

Local activists could hold a "trigger ballot," where sitting Labour MPs can be forced to compete for selection as a candidate against all-comers, ahead of the next general election.

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