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

Kate Hoey campaigning for Brexit with Nigel Farage in 2016, prior to the referendum. Picture: Jeff S

Kate Hoey campaigning for Brexit with Nigel Farage in 2016, prior to the referendum. Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images

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 former Labour comms chief Alastair Campbell was expelled from Labour for publicly backing the Liberal Democrats in the European elections.

Some people used social media to share photos of Hoey campaigning with Mr Farage in 2016.

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.

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Hoey campaigned with Mr Farage in September 2018 for the 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.

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An image widely shared by critics after Labour's expulsion of 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 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.

Columnist and Labour supporter Owen Jones responded to Hoey's defence in a tweet saying: "Kate Hoey may not have technically broken any party rules.

"But by standing alongside Nigel Farage - one of the greatest enemies of the Labour movement, the left, and anti-racists - she has violated the most basic principles of the Labour Party, and UK Labour should expel her."

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