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Thu, 13 August 2020

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Pro-Brexit Labour MP Frank Field hits back at critics after no-confidence vote

Pro-Brexit Labour MP Frank Field hits back at critics after no-confidence vote

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Veteran Labour MP Frank Field has blasted back at critics after losing a confidence vote for siding with the Government on Brexit.

His constituency of Birkenhead passed the motion against him on Friday, soon after fellow pro-Brexit MP Kate Hoey lost a similar challenge in her seat of Vauxhall.

The pair voted with the Government alongside two other Labour colleagues - John Mann and Graham Stringer - in a crunch Brexit showdown earlier this month that could have seen Theresa May toppled.

In the wake of the Commons customs union vote, the Momentum campaign said the rebellious quad should be deselected for propping up the struggling Tory administration.

The no-confidence votes against Mr Field and Ms Hoey have no legal weight but could lead to deselection bids against them.

Mr Field said the Brexit issue was “being used as an excuse by certain people in the Birkenhead constituency Labour party who are fixated on the idea of trying to get rid of me”.

“They would have found some other excuse, had it not been this topic, as they’re already lining up their alternative candidate,” he fumed.

He said his vote against a post-Brexit customs union was on behalf of “millions of Labour voters, mainly in parts of the country that have long been neglected by the elites, who gave politicians a clear instruction to take the country out of the EU”.

And he added: “It would have been a betrayal of the principles I have held for my entire political life, had I voted against the legislation two weeks ago.”

But Momentum national coordinator Laura Parker said: “There is no room for Labour MPs who side with the reactionary Tory establishment.”

She added: “For whatever reason, Mr Field is refusing to assist his parliamentary colleagues in removing one of the cruellest and most savage Tory administrations this country has produced, including the Thatcher government.”

On Friday, Ms Hoey also vowed to face down her critics and continue to fight for Brexit, saying the no-confidence motion would “not influence in any way how I vote in future.”