Today, our Parliamentary candidate, George Turner, has written to our local MP, asking her to justify her vote on Article 50 and stating that if she continues to wish to defy her constituency she should resign and face a by-election. Ms Hoey has stated that she will vote for the triggering of article 50, despite four out of five people in our constituency voting to remain in the European Union.
The letter also welcome's Ms Hoey's comments that the tone of the debate on Brexit needs to be improved, and asks her to now publicly distance herself from Nigel Farage, with whom she campaigned with in the run up to the referendum.
The full text of the letter is below. The original can be downloaded here.
Dear Ms Hoey,
At 7pm this evening you will have the opportunity to vote in parliament on the triggering of Article 50 and represent the 79% of people in Lambeth who voted to Remain in the European Union.
I have still not received any reply to my previous letter of 27 November of last year which asked you how you intended to vote. However, I assume from your recent public statements on the matter that you will use your vote to support the Tory Government’s early triggering of Article 50, and their policy of pursuing the most hardline form of Brexit, isolationism and total withdrawal from the European market.
I do think that your constituents deserve a better answer as to why you continue this position which is so clearly against the wishes of 4 out of 5 people in your constituency.
In previous correspondence with your constituents, before it was decided that MPs in Parliament would have a vote on the issue, you said that the referendum did not engage your responsibilities as a constituency MP, and that you were under no obligation to vote with your constituents. You explained that this was because in the referendum everybody's vote had the same weight. That clearly does not hold for this evening’s vote.
Now you claim that you are voting to implement the ‘will of the people’. As you are well aware you have no mandate from the people of Britain, you are in Parliament to represent your constituents in Vauxhall.
In any event, I do find this argument more than a little odd. Is your position really that you would be voting Remain tonight had the UK voted that way?
You have also spoken about the millions of Labour voters who voted Leave throughout the country. I find it very difficult to understand why a Labour voter in Middlesborough should have more say over your role as representative of Vauxhall, than any person in Vauxhall.
It seems clear to everybody that your vote is not based on any sense of representative principle at all. Instead, it is quite clear that having lost the argument in Vauxhall last June, you nonetheless wish to impose your narrow and hard line, ideological views on your constituents.
It appears to me that if you truly believe that the kind of Brexit being pursued by Theresa May, Liam Fox and Nigel Farage represents the best outcome for the people you represent, then the only honourable thing to do would be to resign your seat and seek a new mandate in a by-election.
After all, if Zac Goldsmith can face his electorate when his party decided to support the expansion of Heathrow Airport, you should do the same on what is the biggest political issue of our lifetimes.
The quality of debate on Brexit
I noted your comments on how divisive the debate on Brexit had become in the House last night, and how it was incumbent on all MPs to raise the quality of the debate.
I of course welcome this sentiment. Particularly coming from you, someone who campaigned arm in arm with some of the most offensive and extremist elements of the Brexit campaign.
Nobody compelled you to join Nigel Farage for a photo opportunity on a boat in the Thames during the campaign.
The following day, Mr Farage unveiled a poster depicting lines of dark skinned immigrants walking across a border with the slogan ‘breaking point’. It was an image directly copied from the disgusting propaganda put out by the Nazis in the 1930’s.
As I understand it, you have never publicly condemned Mr Farage for the disgraceful way in which he conducted his campaign. In fact, just a few days after Mr Farage unveiled his nasty poster, your campaign, Labour Leave, donated £18,000 to UKIP.
If you are serious that you believe that the tone of the debate on Brexit needs to be improved, it is important that you should now distance yourself from Mr Farage publicly.
Vauxhall is one of the most wonderfully diverse constituencies in the country; a welcoming home for immigrants from all over the world. Those people enrich our community every day. I am certain I speak for many when I say the views of Mr Farage are both utterly disgusting and offensive and have little place in a modern, civilised Britain. I hope you can make clear that you feel the same way.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Vauxhall