Northern Ireland news

Pro-Brexit Kate Hoey plans to stand down at next election

Kate Hoey with then Ukip leader Nigel Farage on board a boat taking part in a Fishing for Leave pro-Brexit 'flotilla' on the River Thames in 2016. Picture by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

VETERAN pro-Brexit Labour MP Kate Hoey has announced that she will stand down at the next general election.

The move means potential confrontation between the Northern Ireland-born MP and her pro-Remain constituency association will likely be averted.

Last year, Labour members in her Vauxhall constituency passed a unanimous vote of no confidence in Ms Hoey (73), who has consistently voted with the Tory government to stop efforts for a soft Brexit.

She campaigned in 2016 with Nigel Farage’s eurosceptic Grassroots Out, including posing with the then Ukip leader on a boat on the River Thames.

Her south London constituency, which she has represented since 1989, voted by 77.6 per cent to remain in the EU.

In a statement to her constituents today, she said she would not be standing as a Labour candidate in the next election.

When asked by The Irish News if there was a possibility she could stand for another party, Ms Hoey said she had no further comment to make.

"Until the next general election I will of course continue to every single day to give my all to help constituents in Vauxhall and to campaign for policies that make life better for residents," the statement said.

"I will carry on until a general election serving with energy, honesty and integrity that I have tried to bring to public service my whole life."

Vauxhall has a 20,000-plus Labour majority but the sitting MP's pro-Brexit stance has seen the constituency emerge as a key Liberal Democrat target.

The Jeremy Corbyn-supporting campaign group Momentum welcomed Ms Hoey's announcement, describing her as a "no deal supporting, anti gay rights, fox hunting advocate".

Meanwhile, shadow minister for Northern Ireland Stephen Pound is to stand down at the next election.

The 71-year-old Labour representative for Ealing has been an MP since 1997.

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