Right-wing Labour MP Neil Coyle’s attack-piece on Ian Lavery made big claims about what Labour members want – but omitted a fairly crucial piece of information
Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle responded to an excellent article by Labour Party chair Ian Lavery with an extremely personal attack-piece last week, which was obligingly published by PoliticsHome.
Lavery had written perceptively about the damage and division a new EU referendum would cause and correctly pointed out that Labour’s highest duty is to the millions whose lives have been blighted by Tory government – to remove the Tories far from office, reverse Tory devastation and run the country for the good of the many.
Coyle’s response was to accuse Lavery of right-wing straw-man arguments, recite the usual “people’s vote” points that dismiss and belittle working-class leave voters – and to claim Labour members ‘overwhelmingly’ want a new referendum.
His claim, of course, ignores the fact that far more Labour members support the party leadership’s approach to the Brexit issue than disagree with it. But more culpably still, it ignores the fact – of which Coyle is well aware – that Labour members in his own Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency do not want a new referendum.
His ill-considered rants in the media have become an embarrassmentA letter from Coyle’s local members to Jeremy Corbyn, sent just after the 2017 general election
At its most recent full meeting, members of the CLP voted against a motion calling for a so-called “people’s vote” – and for a motion supporting the leadership’s handling of Brexit.
The SKWAWKBOX wrote to Neil Coyle on Wednesday to ask why he was ignoring his own members’ views, whether he felt it was appropriate to do so and whether he had received any comments from them about his article.
At the time of publication of this article, four days later, he had not responded.
This is far from the first time that Neil Coyle has ignored the views and wishes of Labour members in the constituency he’s supposed to serve.
In 2017, some of them wrote to Jeremy Corbyn to complain that Coyle was out of touch, out of step, ill-disciplined and self-indulgent – describing his ‘ill-considered rants in the media’ as an embarrassment to them – and that he had broken a direct promise to them to support the party’s leadership. Those words ring just as true about this latest self-indulgent article.
It seems Mr Coyle has learned nothing at all in the intervening almost two years.
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