Kate Hoey campaigns in Vauxhall

Brexit-backing Kate Hoey in final push to hang on in Remain-voting Vauxhall

The battle over Brexit is being fought more intensely in Vauxhall than anywhere else in the UK in the lead up to the general election.

Nowhere else are the views of an MP more diametrically opposed to the majority of their constituents over Britain’s future with the EU.

The borough of Lambeth, in which Vauxhall is located, voted 78.6% to remain in the EU, the second highest vote after Gibraltar.

Kate Hoey, Vauxhall MP since 1989, has made no secret of her pro-Brexit stance and campaigned alongside UKIP and Nigel Farage in the hope of leaving the EU.

This disconnect has been pounced upon by the Liberal Democrats who have targeted this seat hoping their pro-European message will be enough to overturn Ms Hoey’s 12,708 majority.

Bookmakers don’t share this optimism however, with Labour 1/7 favourites to retain the seat.

The Lib Dems came fourth in 2015 behind the Conservatives and Greens, but despite the uphill battle their candidate George Turner is adamant that on the issue of Brexit there can only be one winner.

He said: “Labour voters in huge numbers are coming over to us.

“The way that Ms Hoey campaigned for Brexit is what they find particularly offensive.

“She could have campaigned with the mainstream leave campaign but instead she chose Farage and UKIP.

“People are outraged that their representative is doing that in their name.”

Sensing that Vauxhall is ripe for the picking, Mr Turner has almost solely concentrated his campaign on Brexit, believing that voters will flock to his cause rather than maintain the status quo of nearly 30 years of Labour and Ms Hoey.

With this in mind Labour has attempted to make the election about more than Brexit, pointing to her years of service championing the issues which affect her constituents.

Mr Turner feels Ms Hoey is neglecting her duty by avoiding the issue.

He added: “For more than a month she basically refused to talk about Brexit, which is extremely disappointing given her well publicised views.

“Instead she has late in the day come out and said that she supports the Labour Party position on Brexit, despite her voting 19 times with UKIP and only five times with Jeremy Corbyn.

“People don’t believe that she has a credible position on it as she is simply coming out with statements that are not valid.”

While Mr Turner believes that the Labour candidate has her head in the sand over what her constituents want, Ms Hoey is adamant that the people will not purely vote along Brexit lines.

She said: “It’s more of an issue when the Lib Dems want to make it an issue trying very hard to always bring it up as being the issue.

“I don’t find people on the whole bring it up the way I would have thought they would if it was such a big issue.”

On how people will vote, Ms Hoey does not believe that her proBrexit campaigning will negatively affect her as much as the Lib Dems would have voters believe.

She added: “Most of those people who didn’t vote in the referendum or voted to leave the EU are on my ‘Labour estates’, and it doesn’t come up unless you mention it.

“What is coming up is a positivity about Labour that I haven’t actually seen for a while.

“There is genuinely, particularly among young people, a feeling that Labour is offering something different this time and that Jeremy is a different kind of leader.”

Related Articles