comment Opinion

Coyle embarrasses himself as dig at Burnham backfires

Snark about transport costs comes back to bite Labour right-winger

Neil Coyle is not exactly a stranger to seeing his attempts to attack the left backfire embarrassingly – and today was not the exception.

When Andy Burnham commented on the high cost of poor public transport in the north and called for ‘London-level fares’ to be extended north, Coyle couldn’t resist an attempted put-down:

Sadly for Mr Coyle, that was rapidly shown to be untrue – and this was communicated to him and to the world in no uncertain terms by Mike Symonds:

Matt Broadley chipped in with the obvious observation:

Burnham himself responded, pointing out the unlikelihood of Labour ever winning back working-class northern towns with MPs like Coyle allowed out:

Neil Coyle’s recent embarrassments include an attempt to have his former party leader Jeremy Corbyn – to whom Coyle is on record sending a number of bizarre love-hate tweets, some castigating Corbyn and some asking him for a drink – done for not reporting donations. His complaint was dismissed in full by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

Coyle has also been the subject of complaints over bullying behaviour and was panned by local Labour members and had to apologise to a neighbouring MP for his destructive conduct, after they had campaigned hard to save his seat for Labour in 2017. His track record also includes having drinks on the Commons terrace bar with a notorious right-winger suspended for tweeting about the rape and beheading of then-Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry.

Perhaps most shamefully of all, when Keir Starmer escalated his attack on Labour members by proscribing several groups, Coyle called for a whole group of left-wing Jews to be automatically expelled too.

So today is in many ways just another day at the office for the right-winger. Will he ever learn to avoid showing himself up?

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  1. Ehhhh neil lad, it’s grim oop north, tha’ knows.

    Ya big southern jessie.

  2. And burnham should’ve told the soft bastard to get bent. As if coyle’s interested in winning back seats; as long as he’s got his…

  3. Andys a good lad 👦at heart,but got in with a bad bunch…Blairites.I think Andy better stay with Manchester as I wouldn’t want to see him amongst that lot again.I don’t know what this Coyle nonsense is about but I have learned to be just a tiny bit cynical with the Blairites and remember a man I personally like being up there amongst the Coyles and Straws Brown bliar and uncle tom cobly and all.Do I sense a slow start on the knight?

    1. Burnham’s fairweather. No more, no less.

      And definitely NOT leadership material.

      1. Toffee…he made the best decision for his carreer because thats what its all about now.Unfortunately like all reformed blairites,hes still got a suicidal tendencies that will trip himself up.Far better for him and everyone else if he stays were he is.Hes old enough to realise that you don’t believe your own publicity.

  4. When Neil Coyle’s not showing himself up, he’s not bothering to represent. I wrote him a letter on behalf of one of his constituents who was having difficulty with the Council on being rehoused due to disability and the like. His response? Approximately, it’s not his problem, take it up with the LA….. Which was the body involved with the problem. Which is why we wrote to him.
    What is the point of Neil Cole?

  5. Andy Burnham has had years to make this point but chooses to do so only now.
    The cost of rail fares and the housing shortage never stopped him from voting for endless wars and for nuclear weapons. The danger is that he could start to be seen as a ‘left’ successor to Starmer. It would be a case of ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’.

    Here, from the 2015 leadership election, is a reminder of just how awful he is:

    When it was pointed out to Mr Burnham that only nine countries out of around 200 had nuclear weapons, Mr Burnham replied:

    “Their history is different, isn’t it? In respect of their involvement in conflicts past and our membership of the security council gives us a leadership position on these matters.”

    1. Let’s be real, the chances of a left leader in the next decade are zero. Burnham, should he choose to stand, would be about the only MP able to bring about some kind of reconciliation with the soft left. Honestly, Burnham’s as good as it gets for us. We need union backing for a new green progressive party that’s socially and economically left.

      1. “We need union backing for a new green progressive party that’s socially and economically left.”

        I agree but the trouble is many on the left think the trade unions will design,develop and build, a new political party from scratch out of nothing (or the scortched earth the LabourRight are reducing the once-progressive Labour party to). They’re waiting to “join” it.

        Sadly, democratic and communitarian politics don’t work like that.

        The lumpen proles that spend more time on twitter and Telegram and Signal need to recognise that their’s is the missing part of the equation for the deveolopment of a new red-green socialist party.

        You’re rght tho, the best we can manage under the existing top-down thinking is someone like Burnham.

        Depressing, isn’t it?

      2. Depressing, isn’t it?”

        On the subject of which, maybe joining Unite Community and leaving the party is a good option for me. I haven’t the emotional strength to play this “stay and fight” hand that Starmer is reducing my party membership to….

  6. Public transport charges in the north are ridiculously expensive. In some places a 3 mile single fare is about £2.80. Whereas in London a journey of about 8 miles is around £1.80-£2. Plus if you use an Oyster card on different buses within the hour you aren’t charged again.

    After hearing the plot of some right wing Labour MPs hoping to change the Standing Orders rules to enable the PLP to vote to expel Corbyn I immediately wondered whether Coyle was one of the instigators. He’s such a horrid individual I wouldn’t expect any difference from him. Proven by his failure to have Corbyn disciplined over donations and his call for JVL to be proscribed.

    Come an election I suspect Coyle will find the amount of canvassers he attracts will fit into a mini. No doubt if he loses instead of taking full responsibility he’ll try to blame the left.

    1. Horrid’s the word, though he was being interviewed by Gloria de Piero on GB news the other week and it seems he got that way through being fiddled with as a kid. So at least he has an excuse!

  7. Great exchange – and has anyone told him the cost of a return rail ticket
    between London and Manchester? Not only is it grim up north but no-one
    can afford to leave the grimness!

    1. Aye, the post-lockdown disappearance of cheap online Intercity fares as rail companies try to claw back lost income will limit many people’s travelling for a good while, though the guy at my local station’s ticket office reckons they will return. Hmm, I wonder…

  8. Anyone know if there has been any movement on the antisemitism complaint made against him? Coyle tweeted that JVL should be kicked out of the party back in the summer. I’m not holding my breath but my guess is they’ll do nothing and hope it goes away.
    He’s safe in Bermondsey for the time being because he makes the right noises about the EU, it’s a strong remain constituency.

  9. London-centric was that one of the grievances highlighted and resulted in the Peterloo massacre.

  10. British policy for public transport? – For the cost of a single bus ticket for a journey of 3-4 miles into the centre of one particular northern city you could buy a return ticket for 20 miles in Spain on a very comfortable, clean, punctual train. We don’t need everywhere to have the same deal as London. We need everywhere, including London, to have a similar commitment to public transport as that which can be found in many countries in Europe.

    1. This is entirely correct in my limited experience. I seem to remember that when Mr Corbyn raised the issue of insubstantial,expensive bus services prior to the last election he was ridiculed by many in his own party.

    2. Indeed. A while since I’ve been, but in 2019 the flat fare for bus travel throughout Languedoc-Roussillon was 1 euro. You could literally travel from the Spanish border to Perpignan for 1 euro. Excellent, fast and cheap rail travel throughout France. We don’t hear stories like this in the MSM as they are generally too busy trying to trash the EU, and France in particular at the moment.

  11. Coyle embarrasses himself – that’s hardly news Skwawkbox.
    As for Andy Burnham I suppose it never occurred to him that he and others like him are the reason we lost the red wall seats in the first place.

    1. You make an interesting point. Any stood down from his Leigh constituency in 2017. His successor, clearly a creature of The right stood as a Labour and Co-operative Party candidate and held the seat for two years, until it turned Tory and became a “brick” in the “Red Wall”.

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  13. Burnham has been released from the Westminster straightjacket and in Manchester he can’t be Blairite, people don’t want it. But he is no radical. He has to stand up for his city and that means recognising the concentration of wealth in the south-east :median wealth there £387,400, in the north-west, £165,200. That doesn’t mean he is in the same category as Preston’s Matt Brown who is genuinely trying to build an alternative to the capitalist economy. The Preston Model is small scale, but radical. Manchester should try something similar. As for a new movement out of nowhere: the unions won’t do it. Maybe one decent sized one will peel away. But there is now the core of a movement. It isn’t a matter of bringing something into being out of nothing, but keeping together all those who have been expelled from or who have left Labour. We must give up, disperse and despair, but recognise that together we are a new force. Membership of the Tory party is small, of the Lib Dems too. We can outstrip them. The matter is not whether it can be done, it can. The matter is timing. Too soon and we’re doomed. Too late and the momentum (excuse the pun) will be lost. Events will reveal when the time is right.

  14. Spot on Frank Dallas!

    “Events will reveal when the time is right”

    Yes they will – I think a lot of Labour People are keeping their powder
    dry, thumbing through their copies of “Julius Caesar” ..

    The Labour Party are a coalition – formed from many strands and we
    cannot wait another 50-100 years for it to come to fruition.

    Incidentally Attlee was very hawkish about military matters in spite
    of him heading a Govt which revolutionised Britain regarding
    Education, the NHS and much else .. He also betrayed many from
    Eastern Europe leaving them to the mercy of Stalin..

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