Kate Hoey defends sharing stage with Farage after calls for Labour expulsion

By Edd Dracott, Press Association

Labour MP Kate Hoey has hit back at critics who claim she should have been expelled from the party for sharing a stage with Nigel Farage during the Brexit referendum campaign.

Commentators on social media made the claim after Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former spin doctor, was expelled from Labour for backing the Liberal Democrats in the European elections.

Some people used social media to share photos of Ms Hoey campaigning with Mr Farage.

She tweeted that she had attended Leave Means Leave rallies – not Brexit Party rallies – with Mr Farage, adding the hashtag #FactsMatter.

Labour rules say members who support a party other than Labour are automatically ineligible for membership.

Ms Hoey campaigned with Mr Farage in September 2018 for Leave Means Leave, a cross-party pro-Brexit group, at the University of Bolton Stadium.

She was at another Leaves Means Leave rally in January at Central Hall in London, with both events also attended by Conservative MPs such as Esther McVey and David Davis.

Kate Hoey, Nigel Farage and David Davis at a Leave Means Leave rally in Bolton
Kate Hoey, Nigel Farage and David Davis at a Leave Means Leave rally in Bolton (Peter Byrne/PA)

An image widely shared by critics after Labour’s expulsion of Mr Campbell shows Ms Hoey and Mr Farage, then leader of Ukip, on a boat on the River Thames.

It was taken before the EU referendum in 2016 as the pair were campaigning for the pro-Brexit group Fishing for Leave.

“How on earth has Alastair Campbell been expelled from the Labour Party, but not Kate Hoey?” tweeted @MarkBartlam.

Many Brexit Party supporters responded to the pressure on Ms Hoey, whose name trended on Twitter following Mr Campbell’s expulsion, by calling for her to join them.

“So I see calls for Kate Hoey to be deselected, no problem Kate, you will be made most welcome by the Brexit Party,” reads a tweet from @dawngoodwin58.