Former Labour Leave MP Kate Hoey has defended receiving a peerage from Boris Johnson after accusations of cronyism after a majority were given to Brexit backers.
The former sports minister under Tony Blair said she and a number of other Brexiteers joining the chamber was part of a plan to take on the ‘establishment’ in the House of Lords, which she claimed gave the chamber a pro-Remain bias.
Johnson announced last week that a number of former MPs, a newspaper proprietor, a pro-Brexit Telegraph columnist, and his own brother would be amongst the list to join the chamber.
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She said after the Tory and Lib Dem coalition that there had been more Remainers packed into chamber and so ‘the prime minister probably wanted to bring in a little more balance’.
She added: ‘But of course it won’t ever be in terms of a majority, because we have a lot of the establishment who on the whole – from ex-judges and civil servant particularly – who are very committed to still being in the EU.’
The former MP for Vauxhall said that Covid-19 and the lockdown had ‘taken the heat out of the Brexit debate.’
‘We’ve passed the date, we can’t extend the transition, we will either get a deal or won’t get a deal, whatever it is we’re going to have to get through that. And it will work with the Covid issue and what’s happening in the rest of Europe it’s made the fanatical EU lover less vocal’.
Joking she wanted to be ‘Baroness of Brussels’ in the chamber, the politician denied the award was based solely on the fact she was a Brexiteer.
‘I said it at the time, I see it as an honour for me, my thirty years in parliament, my work on Zimbabwe, Countryside Alliance, and Brexit. But also I see it for every single ex-Labour voter in the north of England and those red areas who kept going solidly to Leave despite being ostrachised and being terrible, and the Labour Party having a go at them.
’I see my honour of their behalf on their behalf, and I hope to be able to continue to fly the flag for independent Britain, and getting our control back of everything, and speaking up too on all the other things I’m interested in Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe, that kind of thing’.