Divisive Brexiteer Kate Hoey has defied criticism from her own Vauxhall Labour Party and the Lib Dems over her ‘Leave’ vote in the EU Referendum to retain her seat.
Her anti-EU sentiment led her to a well-publicised appearance sailing down the Thames with Nigel Farage which drew heavy criticism from her local party who unanimously condemned her for the stunt and as well her failure to condemn UKIP’s ‘breaking point’ poster.
Ms Hoey hit back when quizzed over whether she felt she could confidently lead the Labour party in Vauxhall despite her backing Brexit.
“What a silly question, what a silly silly question!
“I think most people, apart from the Liberal Democrats realise we have to move on. Let’s make it a success.”
Lambeth recorded the highest ‘Remain’ vote in the whole of London with 79% voting to remain in the European Union.
The controversial character – who also passionately supports fox hunting despite holding a central London constituency notoriously lacking in park land – didn’t put off her EU-loving constituents who still gave her a 20,000 vote lead over her nearest rival.
She scored 31,522 votes slapping Lib Dem hopeful George Turner into second place with his less impressive 11,326 votes. Dolly Theis of the Conservative party finished in third place with 10,277 votes.
Ms Hoey said: “I’m happy with the vote, (we got) over 50% of the vote.
“We fought a very positive campaign and I’m delighted to be back in parliament and it’s going to be a very interesting parliament.
“I am so privileged that I am going to have the opportunity again to serve everyone in Vauxhall.
“We are going to go forward now and make sure that this country is going to change and here in Vauxhall we are going to make that change happen.”
The election in Vauxhall was fraught with tension between Ms Hoey and the Liberal Democrats with Lib Dem leader Tim Farron dubbing Ms Hoey ‘UKIP’s candidate in Vauxhall’.
This was given credence by UKIP’s economic spokesperson, Patrick O’Flynn, who stated that the party decided not to field a candidate because of ‘private assurances’ given to them by Ms Hoey over Brexit and a warm backing from party leader Paul Nuttall.
Any thoughts of a progressive alliance imploded in Vauxhall as the Lib Dems’ leaflets showed the Labour candidate’s face merged with a grinning Farage with the slogan ‘Hoey out!’.
Mr Turner commented: “Someone needed to make that argument and hold Kate to account for her actions which in my view are outrageous.
“As a resident of Lambeth and Vauxhall I was outraged that my voice in Parliament would side with the hard right and I stood in this election campaign to make that point and to convince the electorate they needed to change their representative as a result.”
As a result, Ms Hoey failed to acknowledge the Liberal Democrats in her victory speech which brought jeers from the crowd.
“I want to say first and foremost thank you to my opponents tonight”, she said. “In the Women’s Equality Party, the Pirate Party, the Green Party and the Conservative Party for conducting this election and running a very honest and decent campaign.”
She commented earlier in the night that she had been extremely dissatisfied with the aggressive tactics used by the Liberal Democrats against her eight successful campaign.
“We ran a very positive campaign, focusing on the important issues and didn’t resort to attacking individuals like the Liberal Democrats did.
“I’m delighted that many of their supporters said to me that they thought their campaign was distasteful.”
With Mr Turner stating his intent to run again in the next General Election this isn’t the end for the bad blood between the Liberal Democrats and Labour in Vauxhall.
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