Labour MP and Brexiteer Kate Hoey has warned her party that “disillusioned” supporters who have been let down and taken for granted will turn to the Brexit Party.
The Labour MP for Vauxhall told left-wing, pro-Brexit pressure group Labour Leave that the party can no longer take its supporters for granted, saying: “I think Labour needs to realise that many disillusioned Labour supporters now have somewhere to go to.”
Reflecting on her 30 years serving her constituents, Ms Hoey recalled times when the Labour Party in government made “not really sensible” decisions that were criticised by voters, with her Labour colleagues “actually saying: ‘Well we may be unpopular, but [Labour voters] have got nowhere else to go.'”
“That’s no longer true,” she remarked, saying that the Brexit Party “brings people from different political backgrounds” which in turn could attract people from the left and right, threatening the vote share of both the Conservatives and Labour.
— Labour Leave (@labourleave) August 5, 2019
“Yes, there are people in it would have different views on the economic future of our country and the way to get to that future, but there are so many people who have joined it who are actually from the left. They have MEPs from the left, so I think that we need to really realise that that is a huge battle we’re going to have,” Ms Hoey said.
Adding that even if Prime Minister Johnson were to succeed in delivering Brexit by October 31st, it would not spell the end for the Nigel Farage-led party.
“[The Brexit Party] has discovered that there are people out there who are fed up with having been treated as if they weren’t important, that there are areas ignored and left and that neither of the mainstreams parties have been picking up on that nearly enough,” she said.
Ms Hoey, who will be stepping down at the next general election, is one of the last remnants of the Eurosceptic tradition of Labour, the party now dominated by pro-EU liberal elites. The Brexiteer recently criticised Labour for becoming “a party of the metropolitan bubble”, abandoning the interests of its working-class, Leave-supporting base.
Far-left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was a long-time eurosceptic, having resisted further EU integration and a was vocal critic of Brussels’ federalism, but his position changed during the 2016 membership referendum, where he led the party in the vote to Remain. His party’s 2017 manifesto pledged to respect the result, but he vacillated on the party’s position until July when he announced that Labour would back a second referendum and in such a vote, again backing Remain.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage had condemned Mr Corbyn for caring more about the middle class than the some-five million Brexit voters in the north of England, Midlands, and Wales who traditionally vote Labour, but said that the party’s “final abandonment” of Brexit has “opened the door” to these neglected regions to his Brexit Party.
Ahead of the European Parliament elections in May, where the Brexit Party came first, Mr Farage had pledged a “northern attack” on those Brexit-backing constituencies. In addition to Labour voters potentially moving to the Brexit Party, two local Labour politicians and even a Liberal Democrat councillor — formerly of Labour — defected to Farage over Corbyn’s decision to ignore the democratic mandate to deliver an exit from the EU.
On Ms Hoey’s comments on Monday, Mr Farage said: “Labour are the party of North London, not the North of England. As the European election showed, only The Brexit Party can challenge Labour in their former heartlands.”
Labour’s Kate Hoey: My Party Has Become ‘Party of the Metropolitan Bubble’ https://t.co/TjhbKUfhlP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 28, 2019