Connect with us


Inside the struggle to oust pro-Brexit Labour MP Kate Hoey



Kate Hoey

Jeff Spicer/Getty

  • Pro-Brexit Labour MP Kate Hoey lost a vote of
    confidence in her local party in Vauxhall, London.
  • However, a vote to deselect Hoey would be “tricky”
    according to sources, as despite her support for Brexit she is
    seen as an effective constituency
  • Allies of Hoey have branded the process as a “waste of
    time” and that it “opens the door further
  • Ex-MP and Corbyn staffer Katy Clark is expected to run
    in the event of a deselection, as is Momentum National
    Co-ordinator Laura Parker.

LONDON — On Thursday Labour party members in the constituency of
seasoned Labour MP Kate Hoey launched a bid to oust her, citing
her support of Brexit legislation which shored up Theresa May’s

The Vauxhall Constituency Labour Party (CLP) passed a
no-confidence motion in Hoey, and requested the Labour party’s
ruling National Executive Committee to declare her ineligible to
stand as a candidate at future elections.

The no-confidence motion passed unanimously and accused Hoey of
“colluding with [Nigel] Farage, UKIP and Leave.EU”,
“collaborating with the Jacob Rees Mogg-led ERG (European
Research Group) and DUP”, and “openly praising Green Party

Hoey responded by claiming she was simply blocking a “Brexit in
name only” which she believes was neither “in the Labour
manifesto” or supported by the 17.4 million Brits who backed
Leave in the 2016 referendum.

Kate Hoey
Kate Hoey

Hoey presents a dilemma for Labour moderates

Despite Hoey’s unpopularity amongst Labour activists in south
London, many are nervous about the unintended consequences of a
move to oust her. “It’s a tricky one,” said one
figure Vauxhall Labour Party. “It’ll open up a can of worms,
there will be impact elsewhere.” Specifically, they are that it
could be used to justify deselections on a national scale by
party members who want to replace moderate MPs with supporters of

One moderate Labour source suggested Momentum — the group set up
to support Corbyn’s leadership and policies — was happy for Hoey
to face deselection as it would be the trigger for a nationwide
deselection process.

“Clever tactic!… Laura Parker [Momentum’s National Coordinator]
basically called for the deselection of those four MPs who broke
the whip on the Customs Union, knowing [pro-EU Labour moderates]
wouldn’t rush to defend them — it seems essentially a tactic to
legitimise deselection as a process”.

Labour moderates have inadvertently found themselves in a
lose-lose situation over the Hoey affair.

If they back a deselection attempt against Hoey, it could
legitimise further deselection and likely endanger more
Corbyn-sceptic MPs. If they are seen to not be actively involved
in the attempts to remove Hoey, they will be portrayed by their
opponents to be defending her, and face being tied to potentially
the least popular Labour MP in the parliamentary party. 

Kate Hoey

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty

Hoey could be planning to stand down soon

A friend of Hoey told BI any move to get rid of her would
effectively be delaying the inevitable as she intends to stand
down at the next general election.

“By the next election she’d be in her late 70s, I don’t think she
was intending on standing anyway. It’s a waste of time that opens
the door to further deselections”, they Hoey said.

They continued: “She’s said to me she was planning on stepping
down by the next election so it’s utterly pointless.”

If Hoey did decide to stand for election again, getting rid of
her may not be as easy as many presume. That’s because although
she has defied the Labour leadership on numerous Brexit votes,
she is seen by some as an excellent constituency MP.

“She’s been able to reply with that for a number of years,” a
Labour source who wants to oust Hoey told BI.

A source within Vauxhall Labour party told BI: “A group of people
Kate’s helped with casework will turn up just to help her, then
never turn up again”. 

Katy Clark
Katy Clark (right)

The race to succeed Hoey

It remains unclear who Hoey’s successor may be. However, there is
no shortage of candidates angling for the seat.

The current favourite is Laura Parker, Momentum’s National
Co-ordinator. She is a resident in the seat and is popular
amongst left-winging activists. Parker is reportedly well thought of by
Corbynites and moderates alike
, and would likely be supported
by Momentum in a contest.

Other likely candidates would include Christians on the Left
Political Communications Officer and Policy Network Board member
Stephen Beer, Thought for the Day presenter and Barrister Jasvir
Singh, and Centre for Turkey Studies founder and Lambeth
councillor Ibrahim Dogus. Former Channel 4
Economics editor and Corbyn supporter Paul Mason was a name
touted by some on the left as he lives in the Vauxhall
constituency, however speaking exclusively to Business Insider,
Mason said: “I categorically rule out running for
parliamentary selection in Vauxhall.”

Kate Hoey


With an all-women shortlist more than likely, prominent women
candidates are likely to stand for the selection. Lisa
, a senior GMB official is tipped as a candidate,
having pulled out of an anticipated bid to become Labour’s
General Secretary in March. Ex-North Ayrshire and Arran MP
Katy Clark, who is currently Political Secretary
for Corbyn, and a leading figure behind the ongoing Democracy
Review is also tipped to be running for the seat as a Vauxhall

Corbynite sources doubt Clark would get shortlisted, however.
Clark had previously stood for Rochdale and Leigh parliamentary
selections, and after the failure to get a Labour left endorsed
candidate selected in the recent Lewisham East by-election,
Momentum will likely pressure for a clear pro-Corbyn local
candidate, due to the Vauxhall Labour party’s moderate

The left of Labour is likely to push hard to win the seat, as it
has a significant emotional value to them.

Hoey was initially selected in 1989 after left-wing candidate
Martha Osamor was selected by the local Labour party, but her
candidacy was vetoed by the National Executive Committee, and she
was replaced by Hoey.

Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain’s departure from the EU, direct from Business Insider’s political reporters. Join here.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job